January 29th, 2014
The delightful herb has been used to attract love for centuries. There are two methods.
1.) Carry a few sprigs of the herb with you and you will magnetize true love.
2). The second method is to “soak the herb in wine for several hours, strain and share with a friend.” The wine, or the lemon balm? Those directions aren’t quite clear, but my guess is the wine.
I imagine the second method might be more effective.
January 28th, 2014
A Different Perspective
Sometimes all we need to do is alter our view to shift our perspective. Steven Pidcock's Faces of the Susquehanna is a reminder that we are surrounded by beauty and surprise! His work reminds me of the Rumi quote, "You wander from room to room looking for the diamond necklace that is already hanging around your neck."
Preheat oven to 350 F
Two crust home made pie dough recipe (I didn’t have enough shortening for two crusts
so I made a crumb topping with I/2 stick of butter, homemade bread crumbs and
a cup of cheddar cheese).
7 hard cooked eggs
3 packages frozen chopped spinach, cooked and drained thoroughly OR
5 or 6 bags of fresh spinach - use a huge skillet - it really cooks down
2 large onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
! Tablespoon olive oil
Saute the onion and garlic in a large skillet until translucent
Season with salt, pepper, about 1 Tablespoon fresh or 1 teas.dried oregano,
1 or 2 Tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
Stir in 2 raw eggs
2 large handfuls of cheddar cheese (I LOVE extra sharp cheddar cheese so I use a lot.
Add the prepared drained spinach and stir thoroughly.
Preparing the pie:
Make a bed of spinach in the pie shell Arrange the cooked eggs on top - one in the center and the rest like spokes on a wheel.
Make sure that all the eggs are completely covered with the spinach.
Top with crust or with crumb mixture.
Bake for about an hour.
Wonderful warm - also great cold and delightful on a picnic!
Valentines in the Snow
We're expecting 5 to 8 inches of snow today and I'll be painting Valentine's. Looks like a repeat from last year! Should be a lovely, productive day!
Happy Birthday Aquarius!
A dozen Aquarius herbs are featured in the gallery! There are countless ways to use this special herbs associated with your zodiac sign! This fall I delivered a course called Enhancing Your Life with Herbs and in the final wrap up session, I summarized with a presentation on 1001 Ways to Enhance Your Life with Herbs.
I could write a book on just the olive - and I might! And this is only one of a dozen featured in the gallery. Look beyond the obvious and see if you can think of ways to enhance your life with the olive!
Be certain to look beyond the 'first right answer." Of course they can be eaten in salads, used to make olive bread or tapenade, you can use the oil for cooking, preserving, cosmetics, soaps. There are also legends and lessons featuring the olive. It prevents cellulite, keeps your arteries more elastic, can remove paint and tar, is a natural lubricant and can treat sunburn. Polish your furniture, recondition you baseball mitt . . . I can easily think of 100 ways to use olive oil and I haven't even started adding recipes! The only limit is your imagination. Have fun with this, and when you are finished, you might want to consider what to so with the poppy!
Preparing for Valentine's Day!
At the beginning of the new year, and occasionally though out the year, I update my manifesto. This is a guideline based on my values that help keep me on track with the way I spend my time. This year I've included a poster with my manifesto. I suggest you take some time to consider your own personal values, create your own poster and post it where you can frequently be reminded of what you value and how you can most wisely spent your time.
1. Use my energy level as a barometer to gauge the value of my relationships. Nurture those who increase my energy, avoid those who drain it.
2. Enhance the quality of life by using creativity to have more FUN! Schedule fun and adventure!!!
3. Take the time to stay in tune with my spiritual self - journal, meditate, time in nature, yoga, sketching, painting, creating, gratitude lists.
4. Respect my health as a precious gift. Use exercise and nutrition to be healthy - not to look good. Have a health-based, not-ego based, life style.
5. Continue to spend time in, and learn lessons from, nature.
6. Embrace and actively commit to my education and learning - knowledge, skills and attitude.
7. Dharma - use my passion in all aspects of my life's work through paid and volunteer positions.
8. Keep clutter to a minimum. Give away one item for every new one that comes into the house.
9. Incorporate systems to simplify housework, business, finances, etc.
10. If it isn't good for my soul, I won't buy it, eat it, watch it, read it, spend time with it, wear it . . .
This post was created for a Take the Rose Instead (guaranteed weight loss, one healthy choice at a time) client who complained that nothing tasted good. Life it too short to eat anything that doesn't taste good! Vinaigrettes, used sparingly, bring new life to raw or steamed vegetables, and fresh fruits. And the best part is, unlike pre-made salad dressings and marinades, you actually know what is in them! Have you ever read the ingredients on prepared salad dressings? I can't even pronounce some of them!
If you have already prepared your own dressings with fresh, natural ingredients,, making a salad or delicious vegetable is quick and easy. The lemon and balsamic vinaigrettes can also be used as marinades on chicken, fish, etc. Avocados filled with fresh orange segments or melon balls come alive with the poppy seed. It is also great on fresh pears, on a bed of fresh raw spinach, or a mixed green salad with fresh raspberries or strawberries, red onion and pecans.
Over the holidays I ran out of my three favorite vinaigrettes -
Greek Lemon Dressing
So today I made more and doubled the recipes for enough to share. The Balsamic and Lemon are the base and they can be enhanced by adding herbs such as basil, rosemary and oregano. A couple of tablespoons of Parmesan or Romano cheesed gives them an entirely different flavor. It's so much fun to play in the kitchen.
Salads, potatoes and vegetables are all improved with a small amount of dressing. I used the Greek Lemon Dressing on the asparagus below.
The poppy seed raspberry dressing is wonderful on fruit salads, or a salad made with greens with fruit added. Or cut an avocado in half and pour a little of the dressing in the center. You won't need a lot - the dressings add a lot of flavor.
Roses - A Year in Review
Roses were undoubtedly the year's predominant theme! My original inspiration came from my Easter Roses. I took several photos and shared them with friends, at times mentioning some of the legends related to roses. One friend suggested I write them down, so i did! The result was a free e-book along with my June newsletter to celebrate the rose's special month.
As I was completing the book, my friend Ted sent some rose photographs! Serendipity! I asked him if he'd help me with rose photographs to complete the rest of the book and he did! We also took a trip to Ladew Topiary Gardens to gather more images!
Roses helped me track my projects and goals . . .
Roses will continue to provide a map to guide My Amazing Life in 2014!
Welcome!! I’m Mikell (pronounced Michael). If you love spicing up your life with herbs, recipes, decorating and crafts, symbolism and rituals like I do, I hope you’ll sign up for my newsletter and free Enhancing Your Life with Herbs e-book!
Mikell is a writer, artist and professional treasure hunter, finding the greatest treasures in the wonderful people who enter her life!