Or at least what you are good at!
I've been told I make one helluva salad. LOL. Believe me with my cooking skills I take that as a compliment. The secret is in the layering. You layer everything as you go and then the eater doesn't have to worry about anything but the dressing. When I make salads for others I will simply layer in their salad bowl and let them apply as little or as much dressing as they want.
Here is my favorite salad technique when I am mixing up one for just myself, including an ultra low calorie dressing that I came up with long ago. I call this "shake-a-salad" and it makes for a great lunch or dinner full of good for you stuff!
First, pick your ingredients. I like dark greens mixed with some romaine. I chop onions, peppers, tomatoes and sometimes add carrots and cucumber slices too. If I'm feeling like I need a little more substance I will throw in some garbanzo beans or even some peas. I layer all this stuff in a container as I am cutting it - like a storage container that has a lid so that I can shake it later.
For the dressing I will use a little bit red wine vinegar and a dash of oil, mixing it with seasoning in a small container (again, one with a lid). For the seasoning you can use whatever you like but I usually just use an Italian spice sprinkle. Then I put spicy mustard in the container. I use lots of it because I like a hot dressing and because it makes the mixture a little more thick so it sticks to the greens better. I add a pack of Stevia to the mix and then put the lid on container and shake really hard.
So, having made my dressing I then drizzle it over my salad, put the lid on that container and shake shake shake a salad until everything is fully mixed.
And there you go! Perfectly mixed, perfectly dressed, low cal and full of yummy greens for the tummy :)
Sam is a fabulous cook. He is probably the sole reason that I don't survive on peanut butter crackers alone. And I have recently made a conscious decision to find my way back into what I call "base eating" (LOL most of the time) so I am helping out in the kitchen and we are finding our way back to fresh food, so plentiful right now with the last harvest. We fixed this roast a couple of weeks back with mountain beef from our freezer and vegetables exclusively from the market.
Today we started out with pretty much the same veggies as in the picture from a couple weeks ago. Veggies are SO yummy right now. The market this weekend was jammed packed. I should have gotten some pictures but I was too busy being overwhelmed by the smell of fresh vegetables, cheese, homemade bread and some guy playing Johnny Cash and sounding an awful damn lot like him. LOL I love the market on a Saturday morning. It is like life should be. And things are not expensive either. We got 1/2 dozen corn for $2.50, the potatoes and onions for $1.00 each carton and the carrots I believe were $1.50.
So, today's dinner is Beef and Beer Casserole. LOL. There is more than just beef and beer in it don't worry. My whole idea for this meal centers around the fact that I have a whole six pack of awful beer in our refrigerator that I bought for a friend who was coming over but then plans got changed so the beer sits. And sits. I mean, look he likes it but I wouldn't be caught dead drinking that sh&t so instead of making six loaves of beer bread I was looking for some other recipes to round out the use of an otherwise waste of money. LOL hey I believe in recycling bad beer, OK? So, these are tomatoes and spices for the casserole.
Here is Sam browning the carrots and onions and adding a little flour to thicken everything as he goes. The beer comes in after this, along with the beef, which you also pre-brown and set aside for the rest of the mixture.
And then you mix it all together and pop it in the oven for like an hour and a half. It is sort of like a stew slash casserole. Very hearty and a super use of all the second harvest veggies that are so tasty right now. Well, and plus the beer. ;)
I just got the word on the latest herbal change-over for Cosmophilia's Herbal Experiential Group. We have been working with elderflower for the current season and I have been using a tea mixture (also containing sage and ginger), an elderflower infused eye gel (very refreshing) and brewing dried elderflower into my regular pitcher of tea whenever I whip up a batch. I just finished the last gallon of this tea and will be saying goodbye to elderflower officially tomorrow morning during my Sunday yoga/meditation session.
This was a wonderful herb for the summer season. At camp, elderflower is abundant, although we missed the time for berries and that is my one regret with the herb because I really wanted to make an elderberry pie from scratch like my granny used to. When I was growing up we had an elderflower tree in our back yard. I always found the flowers to be calming and dreamy. I used to use them for bouquets I would pick for my mom and my grandmas.
So, the overall experience with elderflower was interesting because it was a very tiring and trying season for me in so many ways. I would sip on the tea in the evenings while I walked around our place, visiting my faery garden, sitting on the porch of my shop, concentrating on vanquishing whatever was plaguing me at the moment.
I will miss elderflower and probably always remember that it helped me get through a very difficult summer in my life. Thank you beautiful Lady Elder.
Our next herb is Hops! LOL LOL. A beer lover such as myself can't be anything but hugely excited about this season's herb. Could this be the fall that I finally get off my lazy butt and make beer?
In all seriousness, hops is not only about beer ;) and I am looking forward to researching and opening myself up to this herb. It seems perfect for our slow, spiral walk down the dark staircase into the deep, inner season.
This is an archived entry from my participation in Jaysen's Cosmophilia Herbal Experiential Group. I had it on the front page but need to archive it since it is from a few seasons ago, but I loved this herb SO
much I am still using it a lot - Slippery Elm. This was the first herb of experiential group and I was excited about participating but also really didn’t know what to expect from that experience or this herb in
particular. And I knew NOTHING about slippery elm other than it could be used magically to halt gossip.
So, I obtained slippery elm in both powder form and tincture form. I ended up using more of the powder, but did experiment with the tincture a good deal too. The tincture I added to tea or water or sometimes even just dropped it on my tongue before bed. I also used it as an ingredient in a ritual bath I was prescribed toward the end of the season.
The powder I completely fell in love with! When I got it and opened the container I was immediately
reminded, oddly, of cocoa wheat. LOL. THAT is what it smelled like to me. Childhood memories there…It is hard to describe though because it smells different to each person I think as the other members reporting on it will tell you. But, definitely very earthy and warm. Like, it almost gave me the comfort vibe immediately, just by smelling it.
Since I’m into tasting things (like horse wormer paste ;) I just went about using it. I made tea with it – first by simmering it in water and infusing it into my green tea. I simmered it by itself and I even added it to lots of
other things –pancakes, my morning granola/nut and fruit mix and my post workout mix of yogurt/oats and protein powder.It is sweet actually – someone described it as “maple flavored” during the discussions and that is really accurate.
As a bath additive I found it to be soothing and it felt really cleansing. As part of my ritual bath I really believe it was a great addition. The whole thing left me feeling very fresh and new and I think slippery elm was a big part of that .I also boiled some of the powder at one point and added it to a regular bath .It definitely left my skin feeling very soothed.
So, from an inner experience standpoint I do really think it affected my dreams and sleep patterns. I had odd dreams of various structures during the season – and out of context dreams related to structures – things like mansions that I had never seen but obviously lived there, my grandma’s old house only it was my office. My sleep seemed deeper and my dreams more vivid .I was drinking slippery elm before bed almost nightly at one point and doing a lot of inner work this season anyway. We discussed whether we all might
be feeding on each other’s experiences with the dreams and although there is a possibility – after that I purposely did not use slippery elm for a week and there WAS a difference in my dream patterns and ability to recall the vivid nature of them. I choose to believe that slippery elm was in my head at night.
Slippery Elm will probably always be an “inner season” herb to me. I am not sure if this is because of its nature or simply my association with everything this past season along with slippery elm. It just seems so heavy and earthy and soothing to me so that is how I see it in my head. That is not to say I won’t brew some up on a cool spring evening and I will definitely use it for any next bout of sickness I have like a cold or something similar – it is just amazingly soothing and I can see it being in my cupboard for