Monday, October 27, 2014

OCTOBER ROASTED CARROTS RECIPE

October 27th...seasonal cooking

I roast just about every kind of food there is...it is easy...tasty...and a primal way to cook...women and men have been roasting food over fire...or in dug out holes in the earth...covered with hot coals since ancient times.

I really love roasted veggies...and carrots taste really good roasted...until they get really caramelized...making them browned...sweet...and very tender. Here is my version...but please experiment with different flavors and herbs to make them your own.

ROASTED CARROTS

1 small bag organic carrots
Kosher salt
fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

Wash and dry the bag of organic carrots and then place on a flat roasting sheet.Drizzle the olive oil on top of the carrots...then season with the salt and pepper. Sprinkle the hot pepper flakes on top...and then mix the carrots...seasonings and olive oil well... until the carrots are coated.

Place in oven at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes...or more...checking and stirring them...every so often...so each carrot is caramelized and tender.

Take out of oven... check for seasonings...adjust if necessary. Serve.

Enjoy!!!!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

OCTOBER RECIPE 2014

October musings...

October is a month to get in your kitchen...and create something earthy...and sweet...as a special treat for you and your family. I am a big believer in eating seasonal foods...and this month pears are in season...as well as cranberries.

Enjoy making...eating...and smelling the wonderful aroma of this classic dessert!


PEAR AND CRANBERRY CRISP  
serves 6

For the fruit filling...
4-6 firm pears...cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups cranberries
1/3 cup sugar


For the topping...
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup chilled butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup light-brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup rolled oats
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss pear pieces with lemon juice.Add 1 1/2 cups cranberries and the 1/3 cup sugar...toss well. In a food processor...pulse 1/2 cup flour with 1/2 cup chilled butter...until pea-size clumps form. Add the 1/4 cup sugar and the 1/4 cup brown sugar...the cinnamon...rolled oats and a pinch of salt to the food processor and pulse until it looks like...large moist clumps ... about 10 times. Transfer the fruit mixture into a 3- quart baking dish and sprinkle your oat mixture on top.Bake until fruit is tender and topping is golden...about 25 minutes. Let cool a bit...and serve with vanilla ice cream if you wish.

Happy October eating!
Victoria

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

FEMININE LIVING TRADITIONS FOR YOUR HOME...HEARTH AND HEART OCTOBER 2014

OCTOBER musings...

October finds me reflecting on my year thus far...ways I have grown and changed...places I was blessed to visit...including seeing my oldest daughter and my grandson...and goals that were reached. It has been a fruitful year for me...and I am feeling so blessed.

October...is one of the months that feels gentle...to me. Maybe it is the falling leaves...or the shadows cast by the waning Sun...or just the release from the intense energy of the Summer. Or perhaps...it is just because I am so much more in touch with my own feelings and in tune with nature... that I find October such a gift to me each year.Whatever answer it is...I do not need to know...I am just open to receiving the calmness...and beauty of this month.

With the calming and releasing energy that October gently offers... to the land...and all living creatures...it is a personal message to me...that I can always be in that space of calmness within ...if I choose to be...and practice the wisdom of "releasing" people and situations that take away from my inner calm.

As a human being...and as a woman...whether I understand when it is occurring... or not...I am always changing...not just the aging of my body...but my feelings and thought process too. What I believed last year... might not hold true for me right now...even as I write this sentence.

This is why...each October...I take stock of my life...with deep reflection...asking my heart what I have learned...and what wisdom...I still do not live by. I do not judge myself...for anything I still do not do...rather I ask my soul what "it" is I still need to release...in order to open myself to a better...more positive life for myself. And then I make a deep commitment to myself to release whatever no longer serves me...and begin the inner work to do so...knowing it will take diligence...time...and constant self-exploration to do so.

But I will do it...because my life...my personal integrity and self-worth...is so worth releasing the negative from my life.

With the teaching energy of  October...close to my heart and filling up my mind...I will seek... like a hungry student... ways to release chaos and open myself to the quality and beauty of calmness. When calamities arise...I want to stay centered and calm...knowing that everything will work out...and I will no longer feel the need to get crazy...because I know this life long pattern... is not the solution...it never was.

I will make a choice...hook into the drama...or remain calm... when situations arise that rock my world...knowing that calmness will sure feel more empowering...and more loving than anger or drama. Oh... I know I will have my moments...when something happens that will make me want to be crazy inside...but I also trust that I will take a deep breath...and make the wise choice to stay calm...and release my fear or anger...or any other emotion that takes away from my inner calm.

October can offer you too... the energy of release...whatever that means to you...and by allowing yourself to release...you will change your whole awareness...and learn the beautiful wisdom of something better...something far more positive...for you...and all those closest to you.

Just breath in the calm energy that October offers you...and then release.

Finally.

Blessings,
Victoria




WORLD TRADITIONS AND CELEBRATIONS FOR OCTOBER...

October 2nd... birthday of Mahatma Gandhi...October 4th...Feast of St. Francis of Assisi...October 8th...Columbus Day...October 10th...Canadian Day of Thanksgiving... October 24th...United Nations Day...October 31th...Halloween




FLOWERS OF OCTOBER...calendula...marigold...cosmos

STONES OF OCTOBER...opal...tourmaline...turquoise

ENERGY...learning to let go...inner harmony


FULL MOON...October 8th


O sacred season of Autumn, be my teacher
for I wish to learn the virtue of contentment.
As I gaze upon your full-colored beauty,
I sense all about you
an at-homeless with your amber riches.

You are the season of retirement,
of full barns and harvested fields.
The cycle of growth has ceased,
and the busy work of giving life
is now completed.
I sense in you no regrets:
you've lived a full life.

I live in a society that is ever-restless,
always eager for more mountains to climb,
seeking happiness through more and more possessions.
As a child of my culture,
I am seldom truly at peace with what I have.
Teach me to take stock of what I have given and received;
may I know that it's enough,
that my striving can cease
in the abundance of God's grace.
May I know the contentment
that allows the totality of my energies
to come to full flower,
May I know that like you I am rich beyond measure.

As you, O Autumn, take pleasure in your great bounty,
let me also take delight
in the abundance of the simple things in life
which are the true source of joy.
With the golden glow of peaceful contentment
may I truly appreciate this Autumn day.

Edward Hays


CELEBRATE OCTOBER...

With fun...simple...and good old fashioned activities with your family or friends. Below I have listed some ideas...that are fun for you...all you need is your creativity and a wee bit of time. Happy celebrating!

1. Dress up in costumes  one night for dinner....before Halloween night...and eat by candlelight.

2. Go to a pumpkin patch...usually held at church parking lots during October...and buy your pumpkins this year. It really is fun to walk around finding the perfect pumpkins to take home.

3.Make homemade caramel sauce...and then eat it over ice cream

4. Tell ghost stories...with all the lights off...except one flashlight on...around a circle on your living room floor.

5. Read to your children the history and folklore of Halloween...and why and where it started.

6. Watch old scary movies...with your whole family.

7. Go on a nature walk...and collect Fall leaves...twigs...seeds and dried flowers...and then come home and create a Fall collage with your found art.



FEMININE LIVING TRADITIONS


...FOR YOUR HOME

Use found natural objects for decorating your home this month.Take walks and pick up fallen branches...stones...seeds...and leaves and bring them home with you.

Stones and rocks look pretty set in bowls...or use them as paper weights. Tree branches...set in urns...or tall bottles...and flower pots...are quite beautiful...as center pieces...and you can dress them up with small orange or brown twinkle lights.

Leaves of all colors and shapes...can be put in glass jars...and then set on tables for a natural Fall season look....and baskets always make a statement filled to the top with Fall leaves.

Make a pretty October family altar or shrine...by taking a table top...scattering dried leaves on the top...as well as acorns and small pumpkins...and then fill in with family pictures and votive candles. This is a wonderful way to stop and say prayers of safety and protection for your loved ones...when you feel the need to...or other prayer requests your family might have or need.



...FOR YOUR HEARTH

Nothing says the Fall season than baking in the kitchen...it always invokes the feeling of home...comfort... and nurturing.

SPICED APPLE MUFFINS
makes 12

21/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1 egg
1 cup milk or apple juice (or 1/2 cup each)
1/4 cup unsalted butter...room temperature
1/2 grated or finely chopped apple (1 small apple)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan or use muffin liners.Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.Mix the egg...butter...milk or apple juice in another bowl...when mixed well...add to the dry ingredients. Stir until blended.Add the grated apple and stir gently until blended.The batter will be thick.Scoop into muffin pan...bake 20 minutes. Serve warm or cooled.


...FOR YOUR HEART


   WISDOM BOOK

In this month of reflection...and releasing...make a Wisdom Book for yourself...and for your children. Just go to your local book or hobby store and purchase small journals... in the right amount for who you are making them for. You can decorate the covers...with Fall leaves if you wish...or leave them blank. Begin to fill the pages...with experiences you have had that taught you valuable lessons and the wisdom you gained from those events. Share little messages of wisdom...little tidbits from books you have read...and poems about love and life. You can add images if they express wisdom too.

These Wisdom Books might take months or even years to complete...do not rush...when the time is right you will know you are complete...and your loving Book of Wisdom will be a priceless gift to yourself and your children...to be treasured and read over and over again.