Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Eggnog French Toast

Eggnog French Toast

7 oz. loaf (12 inches long) day-old Italian bread in 12 (3/4-inch) thick
1 1/2 cup eggnog
1/4 cup butter or margarine
favorite preserves

Place bread in single layer in shallow dish. Pour eggnog over bread. Let
stand, turning bread once, until eggnog is absorbed, about 5 minutes. In
large skillet cook slices in butter until golden on both sides. Serve
hot, topped with cherry pie filling.
Makes 4 servings

Monday, December 28, 2009

How to Air Dry Herbs | eHow.com

How to Air Dry Herbs | eHow.com

Step 1
Collect your fresh cut herbs. Now make small bundles of the fresh leafy branches. If you bunch too many together, it will take longer to dry and you risk loosing the whole bunch to mold. :(

Wrap the bottom ends together using a rubber band. A rubber band is better than string, twine, or anything like that and here's why. As the herbs dry out, they will shrink in size. If they are tied with something other than a rubber band or elastic cord, they may slip right out and fall. Yuck!

Now, using the twine, string or whatever, tie up your herb bundles in a dry, dim location. Make sure they are far enough apart so they have plenty of air circulation between bunches. Hang with stems pointing up.

Leave them to dry for 5 days to a couple of weeks depending upon the herbs used. Take them down when they are just about dry. Don't wait until they're so dry they crumble at the slightest touch. Gently remove the leaves from the stems and store in a glass air-tight container.

When you're ready to use the herbs, crumble them up a bit more fine and enjoy!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Potato Pancakes/Turkey Soup/Chicken Pot Pies/Turkey Cuban Sandwich/Homestyle Chicken Soup

Potato Pancakes

Yield: 12 servings

4 large russet (baking) potatoes
1 medium onion
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, plus extra for seasoning
Vegetable oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Sour cream or applesauce
Garnish: fresh chives

Peel and grate potatoes and onion. Transfer to a sieve or kitchen towel and squeeze out excess water. In a large bowl, combine grated mixture, egg, baking powder, flour, and salt. Warm a thin layer of oil (about 2 tablespoons) in a large, heavy skillet over moderate heat. Drop batter into skillet one heaping spoonful at a time (but don't crowd the pan). Flatten gently; don't push potatoes too hard into oil. (Each latke should be about 2 inches wide.) Fry in batches, turning once, 4 minutes per side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and season well with salt and pepper. Add a dollop of sour cream or applesauce, garnish with fresh chives, and serve immediately.



3 cups chopped leftover turkey
8 cups turkey broth
1 12-oz can evaporated milk
2/3 cup flour
1lb small new potatoes (1 to 1 1/2 inch inches ea)
4 stems celery, finely chopped
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
4 carrots, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp sage

Bring turkey broth to a boil in a large pot. Add potatoes,
carrots, and celery, and cook for about 20 minutes, or
until potatoes are almost tender. Add leftover turkey,
green onions, salt, pepper, thyme, and sage, stir well,
and return to a boil. Cook over medium heat for another
5 minutes. Meanwhile, mix evaporated milk and flour in a
mixing bowl with an electric mixer. Blend milk mixture
into soup. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened
(approximately 8-10 minutes) Serve hot.

* Prep Time 15-20 minutes * Cooking Time: 35-40 minutes

Yield: 4 Servings


Easy Chicken Pot Pie

1 2/3 cups Green Giant® Valley Fresh Steamers™ frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
1 cup cut-up cooked chicken (or use left over turkey)
1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup Original Bisquick® mix
1/2 cup milk
1 egg

Total Time: 20 min
1. Heat oven to 400°F. In ungreased 9-inch pie plate, stir vegetables, chicken and soup.
2. In medium bowl, stir remaining ingredients until blended. Pour into pie plate.
3. Bake uncovered about 30 minutes or until crust golden brown.


Hearty Chicken Pot Pie

1 package (16 ounces) frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
1 cup cut-up cooked chicken
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup Original Bisquick® mix
1/2 cup milk
1 egg

Total Time: 20 min
1. Heat oven to 400ºF. Mix vegetables, chicken and soup in ungreased 2-quart casserole.
2. Stir remaining ingredients in small bowl with fork until blended. Pour into casserole.
3. Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown.



A Bobby Flay Recipe

Serves: 2
Prep Time: 15 Minute(s)
Cook Time: 4 Minute(s)

1/4 cup Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Dijonnaise ™ Creamy Dijon Mustard
2 Tbsp. leftover cranberry relish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 slices good quality Italian bread
8 thin slices Swiss cheese
4 thin slices cooked ham
6 slices leftover cooked turkey
8 dill pickle slices
4 Tbsp. Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise

Whisk Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Dijonnaise ™ Creamy Dijon Mustard with cranberry relish in small bowl; season with salt and pepper.
Arrange bread on flat surface, then evenly spread with Dijonnaise mixture. Evenly top 2 of the bread slices with 2 slices cheese, ham, turkey, remaining cheese and pickles. Top with remaining bread, Dijonnaise-side-down.
Spread 1 tablespoon Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise on top of each sandwich and cook in medium skillet over medium heat or in panini press, Mayonnaise-side down. Arrange brick* on sandwiches in skillet and cook 2 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown. Remove brick, then evenly spread tops of sandwiches with remaining 2 tablespoons Mayonnaise; turn over. Arrange brick on sandwiches and cook an additional 2 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown and cheese is melted. Cut in half and serve warm.
*Wrap brick in heavy-duty aluminum foil to use as a press.




1 chicken (3 to 3 1/2 pounds), cut into 8 pieces
6 cups of water
5 carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
3 celery ribs, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 onions, peeled and each cut into 8 wedges
8 springs of flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups medium egg noodles

In a Dutch oven, bring chicken and water to a boil over high
heat. Add carrots, celery, onions, parsley sprigs, bay leaves,
salt, and black pepper. Return the mixture to a boil. Reduce
heat to low, cover, and simmer 1 hour, or until the chicken
is no longer pink inside and the vegetables are tender. Remove
and discard the bay leaves and parsley sprigs. Remove the
chicken from the soup. Skim the fat from the top of the soup
with a large spoon. Remove and discard the chicken skin. Remove
the meat from the bones. Cut the chicken meat into 1-inch
pieces and return the soup. Add noodles and return the soup
to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook 5 minutes, or until
the noodles are tender.

Yield: 4 Servings
Category: Soups


More Cookies & Candy Recipes

Peanut Clusters

1 (12 oz.) pkg. chocolate chips
1 (12 oz.) pkg. butterscotch pieces
3 c. salted Spanish peanuts

Melt chips. Add peanuts. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto wax paper and let
cool. Store with wax paper between each layer so they won't stick
together. Cover peanut can with wrapping paper (Christmas, etc.) and
stick matching bow on plastic cover. Don't forget wax paper between each
layer. Makes a great Christmas gift.


Chocolate Candy-Peanut Butter Cookies

Prep Time: 20 min
Total Time: 50 min
Makes: 3 dozen cookies

1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup peanut butter
2 cups Original Bisquick® mix
1 teaspoon vanilla
36 Hershey's® Kisses® milk chocolates, unwrapped

1. Heat oven to 375ºF. Mix milk and peanut butter in large bowl until smooth. Stir in Bisquick and vanilla.
2. Shape dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Roll in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until bottoms of cookies just begin to brown. Immediately press 1 milk chocolate candy into top of each cookie.


Candy-Topped Peanut Butter Cookies

Prep Time: 1 hour 35 min
Total Time: 2 hours 5 min
Makes: 48 cookies

1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups Original Bisquick® mix
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons sugar
48 round chewy caramels in milk chocolate (from 12-oz bag), unwrapped

1. Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, beat condensed milk and peanut butter with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended.
2. Stir in Bisquick mix and vanilla until well blended.
3. Shape dough into 48 (1-inch) balls. Measure sugar into small bowl. Dip top of each ball into sugar. On ungreased cookie sheets, place balls 2 inches apart.
4. Bake 7 to 9 minutes. Firmly press 1 caramel into center of each cookie. Bake about 1 minute or until chocolate begins to soften and cookie begins to turn light golden brown. Cool 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from cookie sheets to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.


Fudgy Frosted Brownie Cookies

Prep Time: 1 hour 15 min
Total Time: 1 hour 15 min
Makes: 18 cookies

1 cup Original Bisquick® mix
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg

2 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 cups powdered sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons hot water

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray cookie sheets with cooking spray. In medium bowl, mix cookie ingredients until well blended.
2. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart on cookie sheets.
3. Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until set. Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheets to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
4. In 2-quart saucepan, melt chocolate and butter over low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in powdered sugar and 3 tablespoons of the hot water until smooth. (If frosting is too thick, add additional water, 1 teaspoon at a time.) Spread frosting over cookies.


Extraordinary Chocolate Chip Cookies

Prep Time: 1 hour 25 min
Total Time: 1 hour 40 min
Makes: About 6 dozen cookies

1 1/2 cups butter or margarine, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 eggs
4 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 bag (24 oz) semisweet chocolate chips (4 cups)

1. Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat butter, sugars, vanilla and eggs with electric mixer on medium speed or with spoon until light and fluffy. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt (dough will be stiff). Stir in chocolate chips.
2. On ungreased cookie sheet, drop dough by tablespoonfuls or #40 cookie/ice cream scoop 2 inches apart. Flatten slightly.
3. Bake 11 to 13 minutes or until light brown (centers will be soft). Cool 1 to 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack.

Mixed Drinks For The Holidays

Here are some mixed drinks you can try this holiday season.

Black Magic Shooter recipe

serve in
Shot Glass - for 1 serving

1 oz vodka
1/2 oz coffee liqueur

Shake both ingredients with ice and strain into a shot glass. Slam it and cast your evil spell.


Sea Breeze recipe

serve in
Highball Glass for 1 serving

1 1/2 oz vodka
4 oz fresh grapefruit juice
1 1/2 oz cranberry juice

Pour vodka into an iced highball glass. Fill partially with grapefruit juice and top with cranberry juice. Garnish with a lime wedge, and serve.


Bloody Mary #2 recipe

serve in
Highball Glass for 1 serving

2 1/2 oz vodka
5 oz tomato juice
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/8 tsp black peppers
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp celery salt
3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 dash Tabasco® sauce

Combine vodka, tomato juice, lemon juice, pepper, salt, celery salt, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco sauce in a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice cubes. Shake well, and strain into a highball glass almost filled with ice cubes. Garnish with a stick of celery and a wedge of lime, and serve.


Egg Nog - Kahlua recipe

serve in
White Wine Glass
servings for 1

1 oz Kahlua® coffee liqueur
4 oz eggnog

Pour kahlua into a white wine glass, and add egg nog. Stir together, top with nutmeg, and serve.


Christmas Martini recipe

serve in
Cocktail Glass for 1 serving

6 oz gin
1 oz dry vermouth
2 tsp peppermint schnapps

Pour the gin, dry vermouth and peppermint schnapps into a cocktail shaker half-filled with cracked ice. Shake well, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a candy cane, and serve.


Martini Cocktail recipe

We're more likely accustomed to the Martini by psyche than any other cocktail; James Bond, F.D.Roosevelt, Ernest Hemingway. When reminded of this drink, knowing of it's social hierarchy, few can deny it's merits.

To an old hand, a well made Martini is pure delectation. As writer and novelist Bernard DeVoto once said "You can no more keep a Martini in the refrigerator than you can keep a kiss there. The proper union of gin and vermouth is ... one of the happiest marriages on earth, and one of the shortest lived."
1 serving:

1 1/2 oz gin
1/2 oz dry vermouth

Stir with ice cubes, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an olive or a twist of lemon.


Egg Nog Captain Morgan recipe

serve in
Highball Glass for 1 serving mix:

1 oz Captain Morgan® Original spiced rum
4 oz eggnog
1 pinch nutmeg

Pour rum into a small highball glass, and add egg nog. Stir together, top with nutmeg, and serve.

For 4 servings mix 4oz of rum, 16 ox eggnog 4 pinch nutmeg. Half that for two servings.



homemade eggnog

6 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt, optional
1 quart milk* divided
1 teaspoon vanilla,
Garnishes or stir-ins, optional (see below)

In large saucepan, beat together eggs, sugar and salt, if desired. Stir in 2 cups of the milk. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat a metal spoon with a thin film and reaches at least 160°F. Remove from heat. Stir in remaining 2 cups milk and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, several hours or overnight. Just before serving, pour into bowl or pitcher. Garnish or add stir-ins, if desired. Serve immediately. Makes 1.5 quarts or twelve 1/2-cup servings.

*For faster preparation heat milk until very warm before stirring milk into eggs and sugar.


Choco Christmas Cookies/Cake Mix Christmas Cookies


1 can condensed milk
12 oz. pkg. chocolate chips
3/4 stick butter
Melt above over boiling water.

1-1/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Stir well. Add 1 cup chopped pecans. Drop by tablespoons onto cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.



1 pkg. cake mix (chocolate, cherry, lemon) of your choice
2 eggs
1/2 c. shortening
1 tbsp. water
1/2 c. nuts
Mix all together. Shape in 1" balls and roll in powdered sugar. You may want to chill dough before rolling. Bake 10 to 12 minutes at 375 degrees.

Magic of Candles

The magic of candles
• To make any candle a scented candle, add a drop of essential oil to the melting wax just next to the wick. Consider cinnamon, frankincense, myrrh, pine, or bay for traditional holiday fragrances.

• Burning a bayberry candle on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve is a tradition that has been around for many years. If you burn it all the way down, you’ll have good fortune throughout the coming year.

“A bayberry candle/Burned to the socket/Brings food and larder/And gold to the pocket.”

• Beeswax candles tend to drip less than paraffin candles, won’t smoke, and hold their shape well during hot spells. A 12-inch beeswax candle will burn for 10 to 12 hours—several hours longer than a paraffin candle of the same size.

Tip: Keep candles away from heat sources. If your candles warp, immerse them in a pan of warm water to make them pliable enough for straightening.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Sun & Spellwork

The Sun & Spellwork

The Sun emits an uncomplicated, direct masculine energy that is warm
and golden-feeling. Unlike the Moon, He moves through several
different phases every day, availing the practitioner of unlimited
opportunities for immediate spellwork. His wide range of properties
can boost almost any magical effort normally aided by the Moon.

Sunrise lends its energies to beginnings, change, and cleansing. This
phase is beneficial to magical workings that involve new endeavors in
employment, love, or direction in life. Rejuvenation matters such as
renewing hope and trust, good health, or even mending a broken heart
also benefit from this energy.

To seal spells performed at sunrise, use this chant or one of your
own choosing.

"Oh, Youngest Babe, so newly born,
Help me on this bright new morn.
Aid this spell with Your fresh power,
And strengthen it with every hour."

During the morning hours, the energy of the Sun expands and becomes
strong and active. Any project that requires building, growth, or
expansion works well during this phase. This is an excellent time to
build upon the positive aspects in your life, to resolve situations
where courage is necessary, and to add warmth and harmony to your
home. Morning-Sun energy is also of benefit when performing plant
magic or working spells for financial increase.

To seal spells performed in the morning, use this chant or one of
your own choosing.

"Oh Brother Sun of growing strength,
Come to me and stay at length.
Wrap this spell with intensity,
And add to it Your potency."

* NOON *
The influence of the Sun reaches its peak at high noon. This
vibration is excellent for performing efforts that involve the mental
abilities, health, and physical energy. It is also of value when
charging crystals, stones, or metal ritual tools such as athames,
censors, and cauldrons.

To seal spells performed at midday, use this chant or one of your own

"Father Sun, of strength and might,
Aid this spell in taking flight
To its target, now please guide -
Increase its power as it flies."

As the Sun journeys downward, His energies take on a receptive
quality. Use this phase to work efforts involving professionalism,
business matters, communications, and clarity. It is also of benefit
for spellwork involving exploration and ravel.

To seal spells performed in the afternoon, use this chant or one of
your own choosing.

"Aging One of Amber Light:
Hearken! Hear me! Aid my plight!
Take this spell where it must go,
And give it power that it might grow."

The predominant energies of sunset provide a suitable condition for
spellwork requiring reduction or alleviation. This phase lends itself
to the removal of stress and confusion, hardship, and depression, and
the disclosure of deception. It is also a good time for dieting magic.

To seal spells performed at sunset, use this chant or one of your own

"Oh Setting Sun of passing day,
Aid me in Your gentle way.
Take this spell, oh Ancient One;
Give it Your strength as You pass on."

Source: ADailyTarotYahooGroup

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Holiday Decorating Tips


(Came across these ideas and thought I would add them to the blog for
others to get some decorating and entertaining tips for the holiday.)

* Use small or mini ornaments as accents. They are great for
things like ceiling fan pulls, curtain ties, attaching to
napkin rings, accenting house plant pots, attached to candle
holders, let your imagination go.

* If you have access to a holly tree or to mistletoe, use
it liberally. Accent picture frames and wall hangings,
doorways, cabinet tops, centerpieces. Hang sprays
of it everywhere, even in the bathroom.

* Nothing enhances the holiday mood like the smells of
Christmas. Use Christmas potpourri, air fresheners, scented
candles, plug ins, etc. Tie cinnamon sticks to a sprig of
holly with festive ribbon and lie them around the house and
hang them on the tree. Cloves add wonderful scent to the
holiday home.

* Have holiday music on hand and play it constantly.

* Pine cones! Put them everywhere. In baskets, on tables, on
mantles, on the bathroom counter. Pine cones are beautiful
holiday accents plain or decorated.

* Ribbons and bows are a versatile part of holiday decorating.
Buy several spools of ribbon and use it everywhere. Tie it
around the kitchen cabinets and attach a small classy bow in
the front, tie them around finger tip towels and napkins,
lamp shades, throw pillows, just use your imagination.

* Candles make a beautiful addition to any decor....all kinds!
Even if you never light a candle its presence alone suggests
warmth. With small children around its often not safe to have
them lit.



It's great to have all types of nibblers and other
appetizers for parties and potlucks but when you're
spreading out dinner you've got to be careful of
overstuffing people before the meal...that's what
Thanksgiving was for. You spent all kinds of time
carefully preparing and want to make sure everyone
has a chance to enjoy. So, today I'm including a fitting
appetizer for before the meal....BACON WRAPPED CHESTNUTS.
Another handy idea is a fruit/cheese tray, a simple
cheese ball with crackers/vegetables or even some
deviled eggs fancied up with a piece of shrimp and
parsley on top of each.

Source: TheDailyRecipe

Monday, November 30, 2009

What Does a Bayberry Candle Signify? | eHow.com

Below is a link to an article on Bayberry Candles.

Thinking about all the holiday scents surrounding us and I have to say I love the smell of peppermint, sugar cookies (vanilla), christmas tree (pines), bayberry, cranberrys, cinnamon and apples :) for the holiday. Bayberry is special and goes back to colonial times in New England.

Folklore goes, To bring good luck for a year, they say, you must burn a Bayberry Candle on Christmas Day. And if the flame burns bright, and the light shines clear, then heaven will bless you all the year.

A bayberry candle burned to the socket, will bring joy to the heart and gold to the pocket." So in keeping with tradition it's time to get some bayberry candles for the holiday :)

What Does a Bayberry Candle Signify? | eHow.com

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Secret Trips: Newport Off-Season - New England.com

Newport RI During the Holiday Season:

Secret Trips: Newport Off-Season - New England.com

This sounds so romantic and fun to do especially during the Christmas season, something about all the houses decorated with greenery and holiday lights. Walking with your special someone and getting a hot cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate to warm up from the walk brings you even closer together in spirit.
The charm of a seaside town during the holidays is just what stories are made of and can be real and a fun thing to do :)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sagittarius - The Archer

All About Sagittarius

Sagittarians are classically known as the 'favorites of the gods' for good reason: These folks are famous for generosity, humor and optimism, as well as for the ability to see the best is every situation, no matter how dire the circumstances. A Sagittarius will find a real reason to celebrate each and every day -- due in no small part to Jupiter, the Archer's planetary ruler and the planet most known for benevolence.
Of course, the other side of this coin is excess and extravagance. So in addition to knowing how to laugh -- and how to make others laugh -- Sagittarians are also experts at overdoing everything. At the same time, if a Sag really does have to be restricted to just one of anything, it had better be the biggest or most impressive of its kind -- literally, a one-of-a-kind object.
Sagittarians are also famous for their love of travel and philosophy; they crave knowledge, and will spare no effort to satisfy their innate curiosity. Sag's own personal philosophy is that life is really nothing more than a series of extended vacations -- hence the reason so many born under the sign of the archer end up living in a different city, state or even country than where they were born.
When it comes to relationships, Sagittarians often find that some of their most successful ones are with four-legged creatures -- their connection to anything with fur, feathers and even leaves is legendary. Romantically speaking, if you're a human, you can only 'have' a Sag of your very own if you're willing to hold on with an open palm. Restrictions will not be tolerated. However, if you let your Sag sweetie know that you care, but allow them to live as they see fit, you'll have gained an intelligent, witty and highly impressive partner whose long-term loyalty will astound you.
One warning, though: Don't ever ask these folks a question if you don't really want to hear the answer. Sagittarians aren't known for their ability to lie. They'd much rather tell the truth, regardless of the consequences -- because that way, at least they can be sure that you know exactly who they are. So while they can get along with just about anyone, Sagittarians are most drawn to the other fire signs, who also live by the motto, 'What you see is truly what you get.' No games.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Christmas Carols

Cristmas eve singing christmas carols Pictures, Images and Photos

Christmas Carols

The tradition of carolling and Christmas carols is believed to have originated in England when wandering musicians would go from town to town and visit castles and other homes of the rich to give impromptu performances. But there also is the belief that singing carols at Christmas likely came from the group of angels, shepherds and Wise Men who visited Jesus at his birth, because they worshiped the holy child, sang and proclaim praises unto Him. And after their visit, they continued their proclamations in the street.

The origin of the word carol however, is thought to come from the word caroller, which is a French word that describes a circle dance with singers. And from the twelfth through the fourteenth centuries, the carol was highly popular as a dance song. The use of carols then evolved to festivals where they were sung as processional songs and others were used as part of religious mystery plays in Europe. Some traditional qualities of a carol were that the words expressed should celebrate a topic that was seasonal, have verses and a chorus arranged alternately and have music that was suitable for dancing.

Although many of the carols that are now popular at Christmas time are very old, there are others from earlier times that didn t survive. During the 17th century when the Protestants, led by Oliver Cromwell were in power in England, many Christmas carols were banned and consequently some were never heard again.The Christmas carols that survived the Protestant Reformation period didn t become very popular again until the mid 19th century to the start of the 20th century.Many of the Christmas carols that were banned and early Christmas carols in general, had lyrics that expressed joyous and merry themes instead of the serious sombre words found in church hymns. During the time when carols were banned, some composers and musicians wrote non religious songs that had highly varied choral music, which they called carols, for Christmas. After Christmas carols again became popular, many of those songs were re arranged with new Christian lyrics and used by the church.

Making changes to Christmas carols continues in a different way today with pop artistes singing the carols to different tunes and melodies to give them a style that characterizes the particular artiste. The carols are more likely to survive because of this due to younger listeners being interested in hearing any music that is done by their favourite or other popular singers.

The popularity of Christmas carols in the United States increased in the 19th century, as it did in England, because many of the traditions related to Christmas came to the United States from England. The United States and England also have closely linked religious observances, which also accounts for the popularity and similarity of Christmas carols that are enjoyed in both countries.

Today, radio stations are the first to play Christmas carols, usually starting toward mid November, to signal the coming season. At the start of December when the Christmas season official begins, mall stores and other retail establishments will begin to pipe Christmas carols and songs through their places of business.

The singing of carols at churches, schools, and by groups performing at malls usually will be a common sight starting in early to mid December. Carol singing as a part of Nativity plays and concerts at churches and schools is usually in full swing by mid December as the Christmas season gets into high gear and the countdown to Christmas Day begins.

Whether it s the traditional tune or popular makeovers of Christmas carols that you enjoy, listening to them is part of an old Christmas tradition. And any version of a Christmas carol that is played will serve the purpose of putting you in a festive mood for Christmas that you may even want to dance, just like the music of original carols was meant to do.

Jayne Waldorf lives in Cheshire,England.She has been an internet marketer for over two years and she loves all things related to Christmas.If you would like more information on Christmas,Christmas Activities,Christmas Food and Drink or great gift ideas please visit http://www.waldorfchristmas.com

Christmas Plants

Poinsettias Pictures, Images and Photos

Christmas Plants

Want to keep your Christmas plants around for a while? Here are some tips from various Web sites:


Keep in bright light but not direct sun. Mist if your home is dry. Let soil dry between watering. Poke holes in the foil wrapper or remove it. Keep away from drafts, either cold or warm.

Want it to bloom next year? This is tricky but fun to try. As your plant begins to fade, gradually reduce water until all the colorful leaves drop. Allow it to dry completely, and store in a 50-degree setting until spring. Then repot it and resume watering. You should get a beautiful and fairly large plant by fall. Around August or September, cut it back by a third. If you want big flowers, cut the plant back to three to five stems. Ten weeks before you want color, put the plant in a place of total darkness for 12 to 14 hours each night and a bright, sunny spot by day. You can put it inside a large box, cupboard or closet. People say this works. It never has for me.

Christmas cactus:

Water thoroughly, and again when the top inch of soil is dry. Give it as much humidity as possible, perhaps with a container of water nearby. Avoid drafts. Keep in a well-lighted location.

Want it to bloom again? Also tricky, but doable. In September or October, put the cactus in a room where the temperature stays around 50 degrees. Pick a spot where there is no artificial light at night. Give it indirect but bright light during the day. It’s much the same as caring for a poinsettia except the cactus needs cooler temperatures. Many families keep these going for generations.


This showy bloomer is easy to care for. Even I have luck with it. Keep it in a sunny spot all winter, and it’s OK to take it outdoors in summer. It will only have leaves by then. Bring it indoors in fall and reduce watering gradually, stopping by Oct. 1. When the foliage dries, remove it. Allow it to rest (I put mine in the basement) until you see new growth. Bring it back to the light, water and fertilize. Mine seldom bloom right at Christmas, but their color is even more welcome a month or so later.

Cyclamen: Water whenever soil feels dry, but don’t get water on the plant. Give as much light as possible; indirect sun is best. As flowers fade, gradually allow plant to dry out for two to three months. You should see new growth around fall. Resume watering and fertilizing. It’s OK to put outdoors in summer, but temperature should never go below 50 degrees.


A reader asked how to save her Thanksgiving mum, which appears to be dying. It was probably forced to bloom and now needs a rest. Allow mums to go dormant. Some sources say you can put potted mums outside. I know they do fine in the ground but I think I would try the garage for those in pots. When you see new growth in spring, give it lots of sun, water and some fertilizer.

Cut back to 1 to 2 inches once in spring and again in late June. That will give you a fuller, sturdier plant with more blooms in fall.

Geri Nikolai writes about home and garden for the Rockford Register Star. Contact her at 815-871-6850 or gmnikolai@gmail.com.

author: Geri Nikolai

Christmas Garland

Classic Evergreen garland was 26.99 Now 20.80 Pictures, Images and Photos

Christmas Garland

The Christmas garlands tradition in America was brought from Europe by the early settlers. Ropes of garland were usually made after the fall harvest. Making and selling Christmas greens brought enough income to furnish many suits of Sunday clothes and a new bonnet when there was little else to do after harvest. Staples, like pine, spruce, and cedar trees that were used could be found in the nearby woods. Greens were gathered by day and in the evening the greens were twisted into garlands around the fireplace. Usually someone could complete twenty to forty yards in an evening.

In the 1800’s wagons and boats filled with aromatic Christmas greens announced the beginning of the Christmas season. Boxwood, hemlock, mountain laurel, holly, cedar blue berries, myrtle, and princess pine were used as highlights for the Christmas ropes. Other materials used to decorate were corn husks, dried grasses, the orange and scarlet pods of bittersweet, moss, dried fruits, and the red berries of black alder. Churches, business, hospitals, and florist purchased the majority of the woven decorated greens and other Christmas decor. The abundance and price range of the Christmas greens allowed everyone to participate in the hustle and bustle of the Christmas event as we do today with Christmas shopping.

In the early 1900’s natural Christmas foliage and Christmas greens became less abundant in the countryside. With the introduction of plastic artificial Christmas foliages and Christmas greens we could now make Christmas decorations without endangering nature. Plastic holly and evergreen were the most realistic of these early reproductions. With the introduction of silk (polyvinyl) flowers and greenery the quality and realistic looking reproductions of Christmas decor was greatly enhanced. In 1963 the first polyvinyl or PVC artificial Christmas trees, picks and greens hit the market. Technical advances in the manufacturing process have created the most beautiful Christmas decorations to date. Today, with the production of the artificial Christmas foliage, Christmas poinsettias, and Christmas greens, the colors and variety of the Christmas decor is endless.

Christmas Poinsettia Flower History.

The Mexican poinsettia, known as the Christmas flower in North America, is used in most Christmas decorations, due to its red color and because the Christmas poinsettia blooms mainly in December. Native to Mexico, it is called Flower of the Holy Night there. The Mexican poinsettias are commonly bright red and now the Mexican poinsettia comes in pink, white, and other colors. The bright petals of the Mexican poinsettia, which look like flowers, are actually the upper leaves of the plant, called bracts. Some say these star shaped bracts symbolize the Star of Bethlehem. These beautiful Christmas poinsettia flowers, which have become a symbol of Christmas, are used to decorate festive holiday decor for the Christmas holidays.

Outside of the Mexican territory this beautiful red leafed Christmas flower that is used to decorate for Christmas is known as the Poinsettia named after the former US ambassador to Mexico, Dr. Joel R. Poinsett who became the first United States ambassador to Mexico in 1825. Dr. Poinsett of Charleston, South Carolina introduced the poinsettia to the United States when he returned home in 1835 from his ambassadorship. History has said that Dr. Poinsett liked the flower so much that he dedicated the last years of his life to making the “poinsettia”, the symbol for Christmas, throughout the rest of the world. Today the Christmas poinsettia is the most popular Christmas flower for Christmas decorating in the United States. The poinsettia is also a popular household plant often used throughout the Christmas holidays. Other common names for the poinsettia include the Christmas flower, lobster flower, and Mexican flame leaf. Even though the poinsettia is a beautiful holiday flower you should be aware that the poinsettia’s hollow stem contains a milky sap that can irritate the skin and eyes and the poinsettia stems should be handled with caution.

Decorative Christmas Garlands are a Wonderful Christmas Accent!
Source: http://articles.directorym.com/Christmas_Garland-a1022036.html

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bread Stuffing/Homemade Hot Vanilla Cocoa/Honey Butter

Bread Stuffing

3/4 cup butter or margarine
2 large celery stalks, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
9 cups soft bread cubes (15 slices)
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground sage
1/4 teaspoon pepper

1. Melt butter in 4-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook celery and onion in butter 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Remove Dutch oven from the heat.
2. Gently toss celery mixture and remaining ingredients, using spoon, until bread cubes are evenly coated.
3. Use to stuff one 10- to 12-pound turkey. Or to bake stuffing separately, grease 3-quart casserole or rectangular baking dish, 13x9x2 inches. Place stuffing in casserole or baking dish. Cover with lid or aluminum foil and bake at 325°F for 30 minutes; uncover and bake 15 minutes longer.



Homemade Hot Vanilla Cocoa

1 quart milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 teaspoon vanilla (or 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon)
whipped cream for topping

In saucepan, combine sugar and cocoa. Add a few tablespoons of
milk and heat over medium high heat, stirring constantly. The
heat will make it easier to dissolve the cocoa. When the sugar,
cocoa and milk have formed a paste, add the remainder of the
milk plus the vanilla or cinnamon and heat until steaming.
Pour into mugs, top with a bit of whipped cream and serve

Yield: 4 servings
DailyRecipe gophercentral.com


Honey Butter

"Softened butter is creamed with honey for this favorite spread. Add cinnamon, if desired. You may just have to whip up a batch of fresh biscuits to serve with this!"


3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup honey

1. In a small bowl mix butter and honey until smooth.
2. Store, covered, in the refrigerator.


Thursday, November 12, 2009



in Summerland, beyond the western sea,
your soul has rested for a timeless time.
you've walked beside
the God and Goddess, free
to share communion subtle and sublime.

then something plucks
and beckons at your mind__
a call, a summons you cannot ignore.
you turn from your campanions,
and you find
a Gate where there was never one before.

Now gather up the memories and skills
you'll need in this new life that draws you through.
choose lessons, tests and goals: choose bells and frills.
they'll sleep inside, till magic wakens you.

leave Summerland behind, and pass the Gate
to Beltane's glen where loving parents wait.
--Elizabeth Barrette
Llewellyn's Witches' Datebook 2009

(I found this quite beautiful and a nice way to think about the afterlife and how our souls get re-bored to awaiting parents.)

Pumpkin-Spice Muffins/Pumpkin Pound Cake/Cheese Biscuits/Pumpkin Bread/Applesauce Raisin Cookies

Pumpkin-Spice Muffins

Sweet and spicy and loaded with pumpkin-pie flavor, these muffins make a great snack with coffee on a cool autumn morning!

2 cups Original Bisquick® mix
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 egg
1/2 cup raisins

1. Heat oven to 400°F. Grease bottoms only of 12 regular-size muffin cups, or place paper baking cup in each muffin cup.
2. Stir all ingredients except raisins just until moistened. Stir in raisins. Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full.
3. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from pan.



** Cake
2 cups plain flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons soda
4 eggs
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups pumpkin (16 oz can)

** Cream Cheese Icing
8 ounces cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 box confectioners sugar
1 stick butter

Mix ingredients well. Grease tube or Bundt pan and bake 1
hour and 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool completely and frost.

Let cheese and butter soften and mix with sugar and vanilla
and spread on cake.

YIELD: 1 Cake



1 teaspoon garlic salt or powder
1 tablespoon parsley flakes
1 teaspoon Italian seasonings
2 cups Bisquick
1/2 cup cold water (or gingerale)
3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 c Butter

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix Bisquick, water and cheese.
Drop by large spoonfuls onto greased baking sheet. Bake for 8-10
minutes. After baking, (while hot) brush on melted butter or
margarine mixed with garlic powder, parsley flakes and Italian
seasoning (a little seasoning goes a long way.) Serve hot.

YIELD: 12 biscuits
DailyRecipe gophercentral.com


Samhain Pumpkin Bread

Quick and easy yields two loaves.

3 eggs
2 cups sugar
15 oz. canned pumpkin
1 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves

Beat eggs in a large mixing bowl. Stir in sugar, pumpkin, oil and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and spices. Mix well, pour into 2 bread pans that have been greased only on the bottom. Bake at 325 degrees for 60 to 80 minutes. Cool 10 minutes and then remove from loaf pans and allow to cool completely. -- Ellen Dugan Llewellyn's Witches' Datebook 2009


Applesauce Raisin Cookies

These seasonal cookies are soft and puffy. They go great with a glass of milk or hot cider on a chilly autumn evening.

1/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
2/3 cup applesauce
2 1/2 cups bisquick baking mix
1/4 cup flour
2 tsp. allspice
1 cup raisins

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cream together butter, sugar, and eggs by hand.
Stir in remaining ingredients and mix well. Drop dough by spoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet. (Cookies will puff up so space them apart.) Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until light brown. Yield: about four dozen cookies. --Ellen dugan
Llewellyn's Witches' Datebook 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Make a Sleep Pillow

Sleep Pillow

This makes a really nice gift. I've made a few to give as gifts to friends. You can use any material you'd like - I prefer cotton so it breathes. Pick out celestial patterns or anything that suits your fancy :) satin or silk will give it the classy look. You can even embelish the pillow by embroidering an initial on to it, or tie a ribbon around the pillow.

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Yield: 1 pillow

Essential Oils Needed: Lavender
Other Ingredients / Materials: Cloth (8 inches square), hops flowers
(strobiles) dried, chamomile flowers dried, lavender flowers dried,
rose petals dried


Sew 2 pieces of 8 inch square cloth together on 3 sides, leaving 1
end open.
Blend 1/4 cup hops flowers, 1/8 cup chamomile flowers, 1/8 cup
lavender flowers, 1/8 rose petals together. While stirring the dried flower blend add
15 drops of lavender.
Spoon herbs into the pillow and sew the open side.

Place your sleep pillow under your normal pillow or inside the pillow

Here is a list of Oils and Herbs you can use to make your own dream pillow. *Note do not ingest oils or herbs.


BERGAMOT: (not the mint kind!) soothes the nerves, gives relaxing sleep.

HYACINTH: stops nightmares.

JASMINE: helps increase psychic dreams, lifts depression, quiets the nerves; is calming.

LAVENDER: relaxing deep sleep.

LILAC: recalling past lives.

MIMOSA: prophetic dreams; getting to the truth; making decisions.


ANGELICA : prophetic dreams and visions.

ANISE: use just a little to repel nightmares.

BAY LAUREL: inspiration; repels negativity.

CEDAR: helps to repel bad dreams.

CLOVES: use just a tiny amount because of the strong odor. Retrieving buried memories.

HOPS: restful sleep and healing.

MARJORAM: relieves depression.

MUGWORT: visions and prophetic dreams.

MULLEIN: repels bad dreams.

ROSEMARY: use just a little as it is very strongly scented. Avoid nightmares and headaches.

ST. JOHNS WORT: banishes spirits.

VALERIAN: deep rest. Some cats love this herb as much as catnip so keep it out of their reach

Hot choco/Hot Spiced Apple Cider/Herbed Pork Chops/Pecan-Pie Bars

Hot Chocolate

3 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate or your favorite bittersweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups water
1/3 cup sugar
dash of salt
4 1/2 cups milk

Heat the chocolate and water in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

Stir in the sugar and salt. Heat to boiling then reduce heat to low. Simmer uncovered for 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in the milk. Heat just until hot, do not boil because skin will form on top.

Beat with a hand beater until foamy or stir until smooth, then serve immediately.

Makes 6 cups.


A Lighter Version:

Substitute 1/3 cup baking cocoa for the chocolate and use skim milk. Mix the cocoa, sugar and salt in the saucepan. Stir in the water and bring to a boil. Continue as in the recipe above.


Hot Spiced Fresh Apple Cider

6 cups fresh apple cider
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 sticks cinnamon

Heat all the ingredients to boiling in a 3 quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Strain the cider mixture to remove the cloves and cinnamon, if desired.

Makes 6 cups.


Hot Buttered Rum-Spiced Cider

Hot Buttered Rum-Spiced Cider:
Prepare the cider as above. For each serving, place 1 tablespoon of butter, 1 tablespoon of packed brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of rum in a mug. Fill the mug with hot cider.

If you want the rum taste but not the alcohol, simply replace the rum with just a few drops of rum flavoring.


Herbed Pork Cutlets

1 egg
1/3 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound fast fry pork cutlets
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

In a shallow dish, lightly beat egg. In a separate shallow dish, stir together bread crumbs, basil, oregano, parmesan cheese, thyme, pepper and salt. Dip pork into egg to coat well, then press into bread crumb mixture, turning to coat all over.

In a large skillet, heat half of the oil over medium heat. Cook pork, in batches and adding remaining oil if necessary, turning once, for 8-10 minutes or until just a hint of pink remains inside.

Makes 4 servings.


Pecan-Pie Bars

1 1/3 cups flour
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar, divided
1/2 cup butter or margarine
2 eggs
1/2 cup light corn syrup
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt

In a small bowl mix flour and 2 tablespoons brown sugar. With fingers, work in 1/2 cup of butter until the dough begins to hold together. Press onto bottom of greased 9 inch square baking pan.
Bake in preheated 350°F oven 12-15 minutes or just until firm.

In a medium bowl, lightly beat 1/2 cup brown sugar and the eggs. Add corn syrup, pecans, melted butter, vanilla and salt. Mix well. Pour over crust.
Bake 25 minutes or just until edges are lightly browned.

Cool in pan on rack.
Cut into 3x1 inch bars. Makes 27.

All recipes this post source:

Homemade Egg Nog Recipe

The holidays are coming and what better way to get you in the mood and greet your friends with this homemade egg nog recipe. I know it's easier just to buy the store brand carton ones, but this really would hit the spot and show your love to all who taste it :)

Eggnog | Homemade Egg Nog Recipe

For Holiday recipe ideas check this link out:

Holiday Recipes | Thanksgiving Recipes and Christmas Recipes

Monday, October 12, 2009

Quick-Mix Chocolate Cookies

Quick-Mix Chocolate Cookies

1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® devil's food cake mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1/4 cup sugar

1. Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, mix cake mix, oil, vanilla and eggs with spoon until dough forms.
2. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll in sugar. On ungreased cookie sheets, place balls about 2 inches apart.
3. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until set. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Store tightly covered.


(Nice one for a quick easy choco fix ;)

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Elemental Bottles

Elemental Bottles
~author unknown

This idea is for those that would like to bottle the elments for
their altar. Possibly for those who are not able to have a regular
alter set up. The idea is to take 4 of those small coloured glass
bottles with the cork lids (or the ones that have a rubber seal with
a metal closure, and fill them with things representing the 4
elements, such as:

Red: (fire) Ash from a fire, matches

Green: (Earth) small stones, soil, salt

Yellow: (Air) feathers, little toy birds

Blue: (Water) Water, shells, sand

Here is a list of some of the
oils/herbs for the elements...

Water: (oils/herb) Lemonbalm, Gardenia, Jasmine, (stones) Aquamarine,
chalecdony, jade, pearl, Lapis Lazuli, Moonstone, sugilite, Amethyst,
Chrysocolla, Rose Quartz, coral.

Air: (oils/herb) Bergamot, Lavender, Lemongrass, Mint, Pine,

(stones) Imperial Topaz, Citrine, Mica, Pumice, Aventurine, Clear
Quartz, Lepidolite

Fire: (oils/herb) Basil, Carnation, Cedarwood, Juniper, Calendula,
Peppermint, Cinnamon, Ginger,

(stones) Amber, Obsidian (me!), Rhodocrisite, Ruby, Larva
rock,Garnet, Jasper, Pipestone, Citrine, Beryl

(I like this idea plus it's decorative too)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp

4 medium tart cooking apples, sliced (4 cups)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats
1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Cream or Ice cream, if desired

1. Heat oven to 375ºF. Grease bottom and sides of 8-inch square pan with shortening.
2. Spread apples in pan. In medium bowl, stir remaining ingredients except cream until well mixed; sprinkle over apples.
3. Bake about 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown and apples are tender when pierced with a fork. Serve warm with cream.

To ensure recipe success if using a vegetable oil spread, use a spread with at least 65% vegetable oil.

Rise to the occasion! Self-rising flour can be used in this recipe.

If blueberry crisp is your cup of tea, simply use 4 cups fresh or frozen (thawed and drained) blueberries for the apples.


(An apple crisp is a must dessert in the Fall or really anytime you want something wholesome and quick!)

Friday, September 04, 2009

Prime Time on Internet is 11PM

Study finds prime time on the Internet is 11 p.m.

By PETER SVENSSON, AP Technology Writer - Wed Sep 2, 2009 3:48PM EDT

NEW YORK - It's 11 p.m. Do you know where your neighbors are?

Chances are they're online. According to a study, North Americans have been staying up late to do their Internet surfing this summer, so late that the peak usage for the whole day has been at 11 p.m. Eastern time.

That appears to be a shift from previous years, when most Internet activity was in the daytime.

The new study by Chelmsford, Mass.-based Internet security firm Arbor Networks found that people using the Internet at work and school produce a smaller traffic peak around 4 p.m. Eastern time on weekdays.

Internet activity then declines as people head home. At 8 p.m. Eastern, U.S. and Canadian home Internet traffic starts spiking, and stays surprisingly strong past midnight, Arbor found. At 2 a.m. Eastern, overall traffic is as high as it is at 9 a.m., when people are logging in at work.

Of course, 11 p.m. Eastern time is just 8 p.m. on the West Coast. But the Eastern and Central time zones account for three-quarters of the U.S. population, so it's clear there's lot of late-night traffic.

It also seems North Americans are staying up much later on the Internet than Europeans. Their traffic peaks when it's 9 p.m. in Western and Central Europe, and then drops sharply.

So what is it that keeps us up at night?

Internet video, including both YouTube and pornography, appears to be a big part of the answer, according to Arbor's Craig Labovitz. Video usage peaks at midnight Eastern, later than any other traffic.

Gaming is another big evening activity, but one that's most intense between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. Eastern, coinciding with TV's prime time for most Americans. Labovitz found a jump in gaming traffic at exactly 8 p.m. Eastern, and speculates that it's caused by "World of Warcraft" players who prearrange to get together at that time to tackle virtual monsters.

Arbor gathers data from Internet service providers that account for about half of North American traffic. The study looked at 10 weekdays in July. Labovitz said there was a chance that children on summer vacation could be affecting the numbers, and plans to keep watching traffic patterns in different seasons.


On the Net:


source: http://tech.yahoo.com/news/ap/20090902/ap_on_hi_te/us_tec_techbit_internet_after_dark

Friday, August 14, 2009


with Real Mayonnaise

Serves: 8
Prep Time: 10 Minute(s)
Cook Time: 15 Minute(s)

2 lbs. potatoes (5 to 6 medium), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
1 cup Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. vinegar
1-1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 cup thinly sliced celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped (optional)

Cover potatoes with water in 4-quart saucepot; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain and cool slightly.
Combine Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise, vinegar, salt, sugar and pepper in large bowl. Add potatoes, celery, onion and eggs and toss gently. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Also terrific with Hellmann's ® or Best Foods ® Light or Canola Cholesterol Free Mayonnaise.

source: Hellmanns.com



1 1/2 pounds hamburger
1/4 cup finely diced onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 pound sliced mushrooms
6 slices cheddar cheese

Combine the hamburger, onion, salt and pepper. Mix well.
Saute mushrooms in butter until slightly browned and
softened. Form meat mixture into 12 patties, about a
quarter inch thick. Spoon about 1/6 of the mushrooms on
to half the patties. Top with cheese and second patty.
Seal around the edges, making sure that the patties are
good and solid. Place on preheated grill and cook for a
couple minutes per side will done. Serve immediately.

Yield: 6 burgers

The Daily Recipe Marzee



Prep Time: 10 min
Total Time: 1 hour 10 min
Makes: 6 servings

1 cup Original Bisquick® mix
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 cup sugar
1 can (29 ounces) sliced peach, drained

1. Heat oven to 375ºF.
2. Stir together Bisquick mix, milk and nutmeg in ungreased square baking dish, 8x8x2 inches. Stir in butter until blended. Stir together sugar and peaches; spoon over batter.
3. Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until golden.

High Altitude (3500-6500 ft) Heat oven to 400ºF. Use 1/3 cup butter and 1/2 cup sugar (2/3 cup butter and 1 cup sugar for double recipe). Bake 45 to 50 minutes.

Make the Most of This Recipe With Tips From The Betty Crocker® Kitchens
Serve With
Serve warm with ice cream, a drizzle with caramel topping and a sprinkling of toasted pecans--a delicious way to dazzle your family!

Special Touch
Sprinkle coarse decorating sugar over the dough before baking.

Double the recipe! Make as directed, except double all the ingredients and use a rectangular baking dish, 13x9x2 inches.




Made with Real Mayonnaise

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 10 Minute(s)
Cook Time: 15 Minute(s)

1/2 cup Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. Hellmann's® Deli Mustard
2 green onions, chopped
1 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
Pinch salt
4 salmon fillets or steaks (about 1 lb.)

Combine all ingredients except salmon in medium bowl. Reserve 1/3 of mayonnaise mixture.
Grill or broil salmon, brushing with remaining mayonnaise mixture, turning once, until salmon flakes easily with a fork. Serve salmon with reserved mayonnaise mixture and garnish, if desired, with additional chopped green onions.
This recipe is "Best Life" approved. Best Life is a trademark owned by Best Life Corp. Learn more about the Best Life program at www.thebestlife.com

Also terrific with Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Light Mayonnaise or Low Fat Mayonnaise Dressing.



Serves: 4
Prep Time: 10 Minute(s)
Cook Time: 20 Minute(s)

1/2 cup Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1-1/4 lbs.)
4 tsp. Italian seasoned dry bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 425°.
Combine Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise with cheese in medium bowl. Arrange chicken on baking sheet. Evenly top with mayonnaise mixture, then sprinkle with bread crumbs.
Bake 20 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.

Also terrific with Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Light Mayonnaise or Hellmann’s® or Best Foods® Canola Cholesterol Free Mayonnaise.


Saturday, August 01, 2009

Book of Shadows Blessing/Simple Blessing

book of shadows Pictures, Images and Photos

Book of Shadows Blessing

When you start a new Book of Shadows, it is a good idea to bless it so that the book is protected and empowered. You'll need the book you'd like to bless, a sage bundle or frankincense incense sticks, and a lighter or matches. First, de-clutter your altar so you can lay the book in front of you. Light the sage bundle or incense and let the smoke hover across the book. With your free hand, slowly weave it in the smoke. Visualize every page in the book being filled with this smoke, cleansing it of any negativity. Then, speak this incantation:

By smoke and with light,
I work this spell by cloak of night,
So forth, from this time,
This book is now protected,
Blessed by faith and rhyme.

When you are done, write your first entry and keep it on your altar for the night.

Source: ADailyTarot-YahooGroup


Scott Cunningham suggests a great, but simple, blessing:

Put some clean, fresh water (preferably from spring, river, rain or ocean water) out in a glass or silver bowl, on the next Esbat (night of the Full Moon) --

You might say some sort of Blessing over it, such as:

"By East and WEst,
By North and South,
By the Goddess Isis
(or some other Full Moon Goddess, or your Patron Goddess)
May this water be blest!"

Position it where it will soak up the most (Full Moon) energies all night, bringing it in before sunrise. Pour into light-proof container, and use for any ritual purpose --

You can also add herbs or place stones for any magickal purpose, in the water, if desired.

Meatballs/Peach Crisp



12-ounces tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups dry bread crumbs
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup green pepper, finely chopped
1 teaspoons salt, optional
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1/8 teaspoon dried marjoram, crushed
4 pounds ground beef

In a large mixing bowl, combine first eight ingredients.
Add ground beef and mix well. Shape into meatballs (use
a small cookie scoop if available) and place on broiler
pan so grease can drain while cooking. Bake uncovered in
350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Divide into meal-sized
portions. To prevent from freezing into a solid meatball-
mass, freeze individually on cookie sheets and then place
in freezer bags. Label and freeze. To serve meatballs,
thaw completely, and reheat with your choice of sauces.

Yield: 4 dozen


Peach Crisp

1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® oatmeal cookie mix
1/2 cup cold butter
5 cups frozen sliced peaches, thawed and drained, or 1 can (29 oz) sliced peaches, drained

1. Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, place cookie mix. Cut in butter, using pastry blender or fork, until mixture looks like coarse crumbs.
2. In ungreased 8-inch square baking dish or 2-quart round casserole, place peaches. Sprinkle cookie mixture over peaches.
3. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Serve warm or cool.

Make the Most of This Recipe With Tips From The Betty Crocker® Kitchens
Why just use peaches? Experiment with other fruits or fruit combos.

Black Cat Cookies/Witch's Brew

Black Cat Cookies

1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/3 cup water
2 large eggs
1 (18.25-ounce) package chocolate cake mix
M&M's plain candies
Red hot candies

Preheat oven to 375*F (190*C).

In a large bowl, beat together peanut butter, eggs, and water.
Gradually add cake mix. Mix well. Form dough into 1 1/2-inch balls.
Place on ungreased baking sheet. Flatten balls with bottom of glass dipped
in sugar.
Pinch out 2 ears at top of cookie.
Add M&M's for the eyes and red hots for the nose.
Press fork into dough to form the whiskers.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on wire racks.



3 pints purple grape juice
1 1/2 pints club soda

Mix the grape juice and soda in a pitcher. Halve the grapes
And take out the seeds if there are any.
Cut the apple into small chunks.
Float the fruit in the brew just before serving; by magic,
The grapes and apples will look just like eyes and teeth.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Windward Muffins

Windward Muffins

This recipe is a tradition at the
Camden Windward House Bed
and Breakfast. The Windward
House is in Camden Maine ,
the Jewel of the Mid Coast.

1 cup flour
1 cup oats
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup walnuts
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Combine wet ingredients.
Add dry ingredients (except nuts)
and stir until just moistened.
Add nuts.
Put into greased muffin tins (2/3 full).
Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Bake at 375 for 18-20 minutes.
Source: the_witchy_kitchenyahoogroups

(These muffins sound delicious mmm)

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

English Style Fish 'n Chips

English Fish 'n Chips

Fish 'n Chips Seafood Batter Mix is the perfect coating for making great tasting deep fried fish. For an English-style treat, serve with French fries, known as "chips" to the English.

Makes 6 servings.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Vegetable oil for frying

1 cup McCormick® Fish 'n Chips Seafood Batter Mix

2/3 cup water

1 pound cod fillets, cut into serving size pieces

Malt vinegar (optional)

1. Pour oil into deep fryer or large heavy skillet, filling no more than 1/3 full. Heat to 375°F on medium heat.

2. Stir 1 cup Batter Mix and water in medium bowl until smooth.

3. Dip cod fillets into batter.

4. Fry fish, a few pieces at a time, 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown, turning once to brown evenly. Drain on paper towels. Serve with malt vinegar and French fries or fried potato wedges, if desired.

Test Kitchen Tip: Substitute pollock, halibut or tilapia for the cod.

Calories: 242

Fat: 14 g

Carbohydrates: 13 g

Cholesterol: 37 mg

Sodium: 606 mg

Fiber: 0 g

Protein: 16 g

per serving



English White Cod and Chips Recipe

Serves/Makes: 4

•2 pounds (1 kg) firm boneless white cod fillets, patted dry
•5 cups (1.25 L) vegetable oil
•1 cup (250 mL) peanut oil
•1 cup (140 g) flour
•1/4 cup (60 mL) rice flour or cornstarch
•1 egg
•1 1/4 cups (310 mL) amber ale
•1 teaspoon (5 mL) salt
•1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) white pepper

How to cook English White Cod and Chips:

1.Heat vegetable oil and peanut oil into a Dutch or large, sturdy saucepan at least twice as large as the measure of oil (12-cup / 3-L).
2.Into a large shallow bowl, whisk together flour and rice flour or cornstarch.
3.Into a clean bowl, beat together egg, amber ale, salt and white pepper, until smooth.
4.Slowly whisk egg mixture into flour mixture, until smooth.
5.Dip fish fillets, one at a time, into batter.
6.Deep-fry into batches into hot (375°F / 190°C) oil for 4 to 7 minutes, depending on size and thickness of fish.
7.Do not crowd fish into hot oil, or it will be soggy.
8.Using a long-handle slotted spoon or tongs, turn fish over as often as needed for an even frying.
9.Remove when golden brown.
10.Leave to drain onto paper toweling before serving.
11.Serve along with French fries or potato chips.

The carbonation in beer helps create a light, crisp crust.
Peanut oil will help prevent the oil from smoking.
Choose dense white fish (cod, haddock...), that will not fall apart when fried.
Cut fish into uniform pieces so it that it cooks evenly be sure to pat dry fish with paper toweling to absorb extra moisture before dipping it into batter.
Serve along with French fries or potato chips.

Fish and chips (also "fish 'n' chips"), a popular take-away food with British origins, consists of deep-fried fish in batter or breadcrumbs with deep-fried chipped (slab-cut) potatoes.
This recipe for English White Cod and Chips serves/makes: 4


Perfect Fish 'n' Chips

Perfect Fish 'n' Chips

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Dream Getaway Spell

British Airways Pictures, Images and Photos

Dream Getaway Spell

Do you have a place that calls to you, a place you long to travel to? If you can't travel there in person, plan a trip in imagination. Get out maps. Plan an itinerary. Cook foods that you would eat at your special getaway. Wear the clothes that you would wear at your special place. Put on the music of your favorite place. Light a candle, saying:

As I have plotted my journey, dressed for my special place, eaten the foods of my special land, and listened to the songs of my heart home, let my heart rise up as it would if I were there. I will now be there in spirit. I celebrate my love for another place. Blessed be.

Spicy Honey-Glazed Chicken

Honey and Lime glazed chicken Pictures, Images and Photos

Spicy Honey-Glazed Chicken

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup honey
2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon lemon juice
8 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 4 pounds)
1 pineapple — peeled, cored and cut into 8 thick rings

1.In a small saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until translucent and beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the honey, hot pepper sauce and chili powder and simmer for 1 minute. Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice and set aside.

2.Preheat a grill or large grill pan to medium-high. Rub the chicken with the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt. Grill until well marked, about 7 minutes. Flip and cook until the bottoms are well marked and the chicken is cooked through, another 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate and brush with the reserved honey glaze. Cover with foil and let rest for 5 minutes.

3.Meanwhile, grill the pineapple until well marked on one side, about 4 minutes, then flip and cook for another 2 minutes. Serve with the chicken.


White Red Wines & Beers

wines Pictures, Images and Photos

White Wines

If you like wine that's: Bubbly
Then choose: Champagne, prosecco or cava
Here's why: Slightly sweet, these sparkling white wines really pop.
Pair with: Many kinds of dishes, especially fried foods, salty snacks, light fish dishes and frittatas.
Good to know: Low alcohol

If you like wine that's: Crisp
Then choose: Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc (unoaked), Soave
Also try: Albariño, Chardonnay (unoaked), Chenin Blanc, Muscadet, Pinot Blanc, white Rioja, Vinho Verde
Here's why: Light and clean tasting, these whites feature lemony citrus, green apple and unripe fruit flavors.
Pair with: Goat cheese, light seafood dishes, salads and vegetables.
Good to know: Low alcohol, low sugar and higher acidity also make them refreshing on their own.
Bargain tip: A chardonnay from outside the U.S.—like Australia—can be a great, tasty deal.

If you like wine that's: Floral
Then choose: Gewürztraminer, Riesling
Also try: white Bordeaux, Grüner Veltliner, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc (oaked)
Here's why: You'll pick up honeysuckle, peach and apricot flavors in these whites.
Pair with: Veggie-filled and spicy dishes (think Indian, Spanish or Korean-style foods) and fruit-based desserts.
Good to know: Low to medium alcohol

If you like wine that's: Buttery
Then choose: Chardonnay (oaked), Fumé Blanc, Sauternes
Also try: white Alsace, white Burgundy, Muscat, Roussanne, Sémillon, Viognier
Here's why: These creamy whites have notes of vanilla, toast and butter.
Pair with: Rich seafood and poultry dishes and cream- and butter-based sauces (the wine's big enough to handle it).
Good to know: Medium to high alcohol

Red Wines

If you like wine that's: Fruity
Then choose: Beaujolais, Rosé, Pinot Noir
Also try: red Burgundy, Gamay, Nebbiolo, Rioja Crianza
Here's why: You'll taste ripe plums and lots of luscious berries in these juicy reds.
Pair with: A wide variety of dishes, from spicy fish to poultry to game and braised meats.
Good to know: Light to medium alcohol
Bargain tip: Pink wines are often a steal! And speaking of good deals, try a fruity red from Portugal, one of the world's best regions for affordable wine.

If you like wine that's: Spicy
Then choose: Côtes du Rhone, Merlot, Shiraz/Syrah
Also try: Barbera, Cabernet Franc, Dolcetto, Grenache, Malbec, Petit Sirah, Sangiovese, Tempranillo
Here's why: These reds have hints of black pepper and warm spices like clove and nutmeg.
Pair with: Grilled meats or veggies, burgers, beef stew and spicy beef kebabs, as well as with tomato-based sauces and hard, sharp cheeses like parmesan.
Good to know: Medium alcohol
Bargain tip: Shiraz can give you bang for your buck.

If you like wine that's: Woodsy
Then choose: Barolo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chianti, Rioja
Also try: Barbaresco, red Bordeaux, red Rhône
Here's why: You'll find nutty, earthy flavors in these reds like leather, tobacco, cedar and chocolate.
Pair with: Cheeses like Swiss and brie, lamb and dishes that include equally earthy flavors like mushrooms and onions.
Good to know: Medium to high alcohol

If you like wine that's: Jammy
Then choose: Brunello, Nero d'avola, Zinfandel
Here's why: These rich reds are packed with flavors of dried fruit, blackberry or cherry jam, caramel, light molasses and vanilla.
Pair with: Tender cuts of beef, pork chops, bacon, pungent blue cheeses and dark chocolate desserts.
Good to know: High alcohol

beers Pictures, Images and Photos


If you like beer that's: Clean and crisp
Then choose: pilsner, helles, red ale
Here's why: Dry and simple, these light-bodied beers have a touch of breadiness.
Delicious with: fried foods, shellfish, oily fish, prosciutto and Indian dishes.

If you like beer that's: Bright and citrusy
Then choose: hefeweisen, wit bier, lambic
Here's why: These light-bodied brews have subtle citrus and banana flavors.
Delicious with: egg dishes, leafy greens, salads, grilled fish, lobster, sushi and fruit-based desserts.

If you like beer that's: Fruity and bitter
Then choose: American pale ale, India pale ale (ipa), extra special bitter (esb)
Here's why: You'll taste candied fruit flavors and a refreshing bitterness in these robust beers.
Delicious with: grilled vegetables, pizza, spicy foods, guacamole, burgers, lasagna, mac ’n’ cheese and aged cheeses.

If you like beer that's: Herbal
Then choose: biere de garde, saison, tripel
Here's why: Strong and earthy, these beers also have herb and spice flavors.
Delicious with: roasted chicken, pesto, tuna, risotto and goat cheese.

If you like beer that's: Toasty and caramelly
Then choose: dubbel, tripel, bock, brown ale
Here's why: Bread, caramel and sweet spice flavors really stand out in these robust brews.
Delicious with: bacon, mushrooms, beans, burritos, steak, pork

If you like beer that's: Roasty and smooth
Then choose: stout, porter
Here's why: They're medium-bodied to robust, with coffee and chocolate flavors.
Delicious with: steak, barbecue, salami, shrimp, black beans, chocolate desserts and ice cream.


Friday, June 19, 2009

Baked Potatoes & More Recipes

Baked Potatoes

1/4 c. butter or margarine
3 lg. baking potatoes, peeled
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Melt butter in small pan or in the
microwave. Halve potatoes lengthwise, then slice crosswise into
1/8-inch-thick slices (they will be half-moon shape). Do not put
potatoes in water after slicing. Immediately line up in buttered
13x9-inch baking pan with slices overlapping. Pour melted butter over
potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Bake 20 minutes.
Remove from oven; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake an additional 5-7
minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly browned.


Fried Green Tomatoes

1 egg, beaten
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. cornmeal
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Pepper
4 med.-sized green tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch slices
3 to 4 tbsp. vegetable oil

Combine egg and milk; set aside. Combine cornmeal, flour, salt and
pepper. Dip tomatoes in egg mixture; dredge in cornmeal mixture. Fry in
oil until golden brown.



1/2 c. margarine
1 egg
1/4 c. sugar
1-1/2 c. sifted flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1-1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 c. unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c. chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream margarine until fluffy. Beat eggs and
sugar; add to margarine and blend. Sift together dry ingredients. Add to
margarine mixture alternately with applesauce, mixing well after each
addition. Stir in vanilla and nuts. Spoon into 12 cupcakes pans sprayed
with vegetable pan spray. Bake 15 to 20 minutes.

Yield: 12 cupcakes. Serving size: 1 cupcake.


Grandma's Meatloaf

1 1/2 lb. hamburger
1 c. cracker crumbs
1 c. milk
2 eggs
1 sm. onion, chopped
Salt & pepper

Mix all the ingredients and bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.


Cream of Tomato Soup

1 (32 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 (9 oz.) can chicken broth, undiluted
1 oz. butter (1 tbsp.)
1 tbsp. chopped onion
Pinch of baking soda
2 c. cream (I use 2% milk)

Mix tomatoes, chicken broth and butter, sugar, onions and soda; simmer 1
hour. Heat cream in double boiler. Add cream to hot tomato
mixture. Ready to serve and enjoy.


Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats

1 c. brown sugar
1 c. white Karo
1/2 c. peanut butter
1 box Rice Krispies

Bring Karo and sugar to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in peanut
butter and stir until dissolved. Add cereal and stir until mixture is
well coated. It will probably take only 1/2 box of cereal. Pour up
in buttered pan or drop by spoon on wax paper.


Impossible Chocolate Pie
(Makes its own crust)

2 eggs
1 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. butter
1/2 c. biscuit mix
2 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted

In blender, blend 1 minute, pour into greased pie plate. Bake in 350
degree oven for 30 minutes. Before serving, top with whipped cream.



(10 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 (16 fl oz) bottle balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing
2 tomatoes, sliced
2 pounds fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
1 bunch fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place chicken in a shallow dish or large resealable plastic bag. Pour the dressing over it, cover or seal, and marinate in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours.
Coat a large skillet with cooking spray or oil, and set over low heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade. Fry chicken breast halves over low heat for about 30 minutes, or until juices run clear.
Arrange chicken on a serving platter. Place a generous slice of fresh mozzarella on top of each piece. Place a leaf of basil on top of the cheese, and cover with a slice of tomato. Dash balsamic vinegar over the platter, and season with salt and pepper. Serve!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009



tulip Pictures, Images and Photos

Fertility, Luck, Love, Protection, Prosperity.

The tulip is worn to safeguard against poverty and bad luck in general. "Tulip" means "turban" and the flower is often worn in the turban in Middle Eastern countries for protection.

Tulips are placed on the altar during love spells. Tulips would be an appropriate flower to use as a healing herb for a broken heart. Place white tulips on the altar when trying to conceive a child.

Use red tulips around the home to ensure a healthy delivery. Yellow tulips bless both mother and the newborn child. Pink tulips promote sexual flirtations and are great to use when you want someone else to make the first romantic move.

Pentagram Protection Spell

Pentagram Pictures, Images and Photos

Five Points of the Pentagram Protection Spell

Get drawing paper, and draw a large pentagram on it, without drawing a circle around it. Take five votive candles,
and place them at each corner of the star. Get your broom, and light each candle saying this:

With each corner that I light,
this star of all stars so bright
will show my way and my path
to protect loved ones from anger and wrath.
Let this path be one of ease,
as we walk through the trees
with this fire I command tonight,
blessings upon those who walk it right.
So mote it be.

Face outward, and sweep your broom one full circle counterclockwise around your pentagram. Finish your pentagram
by drawing a circle around it.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

The Genesis of Freemasonry - Dr. David Harrison Book Out Now!


Few know the origins and the mysteries surrounding Freemasonry. Here the author Dr. David Harrison takes you on a journey to find the true meaning and origins of this mysterious brotherhood.

'The Genesis of Freemasonry' by Dr. David Harrison

This is a groundbreaking book which reveals the true history of the most secret of societies

using actual historical archive material and documents, Dr. David Harrison has woven together the origins of the Craft

Harrison traces the beginnings of the mysterious Masonic ritual, which was inspired by magic, alchemy and necromancy, and explored the search for the divine measurements of Solomon's Temple

This new modern ritual caused rebellions in within Masonry, these rebellions are explored by Harrison, and the leaders of the society discussed.

Out now in all major book outlets - Get yours now and find the answers.

Published by Lewis Masonic, 2009

'I can commend its purchase to any curious brother' The Square

'An excellent read' Mike Chapple - The Daily Post

'An amazing book - Highly recommended' - Bob Davies www.borders.co.uk

'A revealing and thoroughly enjoyable journey' - Lewis Masonic

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Seed Planting Spell

SHASTA DAISY SEED PACKET Pictures, Images and Photos

Seed Planting Spell

Gather up your tools for gardening, seeds, soils and containers all within your altarand call the directions. Breathe a deep breaths and say:

Goddess Ceres Mother of Harvest

Goddess of the plants, of the time of growing

Ceres, I ask your blessings upon these items

May my garden spring forth, strong and beautiful

May my flowers scent the air and warm the senses

May my vegetables grow large and tasty

And may my plot be free of weeds

For this I ask your blessing Ceres!

Now close the directions and start planting your blessed seeds.

Magical Bath Ritual


Magical Bath Ritual

A magical bath is perfect for the stress of today. To take one, you will need a candle, incense and an incense burner or tray, and some salt (preferably sea salt).
Give your tub a quick rinse, and start filling it with warm water. When the tub is as full as you like it, touch the surface of the water and say:

Blessed be the water.

Then put a little salt in your hand, touch the salt with your other hand, saying:

Blessed be the earth.

Toss the salt in the bath water, stir it three times clockwise. Light the candle, hold it over the bath and say:

Blessed be the fire.

Lastly, light the incense, and say:

Blessed be the air.

Put the candle and incense in some safe place in the bathroom, get in the tub, and enjoy.

Deciding Whether To Marry/Marriage Lore

Wedding Rings Pictures, Images and Photos

Thoughtful Conclusions About Commitment
Deciding Whether To Marry

Though we may make many commitments throughout our time on earth, few
have a lifelong impact on the path our lives will take. The decision
to marry someone you love—to bond yourself to them completely—is
unlike any other and can reshape your existence. When two people have
similar goals, values, and needs, marriage can result in a lifetime
partnership of love and respect, shared laughter and tears,
friendship, and intimacy that is ultimately fulfilling. Love is often
cited as the sole prerequisite of a strong and stable married life.
However, the decision to get married should be made with the mind and
the soul as well as with the heart. Carefully considering whether you
truly want to get married, both individually and as a couple, can
ensure that if you do choose to marry, your relationship can grow to
unimaginable depths.

The decision-making process you employ to determine whether you should
marry should be a thoughtful and honest one in which you appraise not
only your partner but also yourself. Consider that love and attraction
do not guarantee long-term compatibility. If your relationship is not
secure, marriage will not make it so. Likewise, if your partner is not
as attentive, loving, or kind as you would like, your becoming spouses
will not change that. Marriage has no power to permanently fill any
emotional or spiritual gaps in your life. Before you choose to marry,
ask yourself whether you and your partner are adept at resolving
conflict, can speak openly to one another, and fully respect one
another. Your attitudes regarding the nature of marital commitment,
children and child rearing, and marital roles may be the same or they
may differ. It is your shared responsibility to discuss your
similarities and come to agreements regarding your differences that
will predict how successful yo! ur future marriage will be. Often
times, younger couples rush into marriage just for the wedding dress,
the ring, the party, and honeymoon. Would you still be willing to be
married if you couldn’t have these things?

Remember that planning a wedding is simple when compared to the
intricacies of nurturing a marriage. The honeymoon and nesting period
will eventually wear off, and what you are left with is a partner for
life. When you work together with your partner, reassure and support
one another, and are honest about your feelings regarding marriage,
you’ll come to the right decision.


Marriage Correspondences and Lore

Marriage, or hand-fasting, is said to be luckiest when held in June. There are also just as many different traditions around to keep the wedding lucky. Where a whole book could be written on marriage traditions, I have chosen just a few, from the well known, to hopefully a couple of obscure ones.

"Something old, something new; Something borrowed, something blue."

Of course, the tradition of throwing rice, breadcrumbs, and other edibles, at the newly wed couple have many different sources. Some sources say that the edibles were thrown to attract good luck. However, the reason most told to me, is that the edibles were thrown to distract evil spirits, thus preventing them from ruining the newly weds fun. Other methods for keeping evil and mischievous spirits away are the tying of cans, bells, and other loud noise makers to the car, cart, horse drawn carriage, etc.