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Monday, April 30, 2012

Beltane Honey Bread

Beltane blessings to you all!
It is a rainy day here, but our gardens do need the moisture, so the rain is greatly appreciated.  I am getting ready to do some Beltane baking and wanted to share this recipe sent to me by my good friend and Kitchen Warlock extraordinaire: Jarrid.  You can also find this recipe in the Beltane issue of the Practical Magick Ezine.

 Honey Wheat Bread


Ingredients:
2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup vegetable oil
5 cups all-purpose flour

Directions:
Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add honey, and stir well. Mix in whole wheat flour, salt, and vegetable oil. Work all-purpose flour in gradually. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead for at least 10 to 15 minutes. When dough is smooth and elastic, place it in a well oiled bowl.  Turn it several times in the bowl to coat the surface of the dough, and cover with a damp cloth. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.  Punch down the dough. Shape into two loaves, and place into two well greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans. Allow to rise until dough is 1 to 1 1/2 inches above pans.

Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes.

Honey Butter

Ingredients:
1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
1/4 cup honey.
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)  

Directions:
- Soften the butter on the kitchen counter or in the microwave at 10 second intervals. If using the microwave, be sure the butter does not begin to melt.
- Place softened butter in a small mixing bowl. Add honey. 
- Use a hand mixer and beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Then beat at highest speed until the butter is light, fluffy, and easily spreadable. This should only take a couple of minutes.
- Add vanilla and/or cinnamon if desired, and beat for another 15 to 30 seconds.

Cover and keep refrigerated until ready to use. The butter will stay soft and easy to spread right out of the refrigerator.






Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tea Time Tuesday: Kombucha


I love tea.  I drink it daily and often try a variety of herbal teas.  David's Tea is one of my favourite places to purchase loose-leaf teas.   Happy Kombucha is the Tea of the Month at David's Tea and is by far one of my most favourites!



In yester-years Kombucha was a concoction brewed in homes and drank for it's anecdotal health benefits.  Recently however, this tea has gone mainstrream and is found in many health food and organic stores.  Kombucha is made from the fermentation of a pancake-like culture of yeast and bacteria and then added to various tea leaves (green tea, black tea, and oolong tea, for example).

Although little is published documenting the health benefits, Kombucha is believed to detoxify the body and energize the mind.  It is also said to aid cancer recovery, increase energy, sharpen eyesight, aid joint recovery, improve skin elasticity, and aid in digestion.

If you have not given Kombucha a try, I strongly recommend it!


Friday, April 6, 2012

Seed or Wind Moon


April's full moon is known as the Seed or Wind Moon.  The unsettled weather of March is slowly dying and the Winds are now distrubuting seeds around the Earth.  This is a time of new beginnings and growth.  Plan and plant your herb garden (if the weather allows). Commune with and strengthen your relationship with the mother aspect of the Goddess.

Correspondences
Colors: Bright primary colors -- red, yellow, blue -- and their combinations
Animals: bear, wolf. Birds: hawk, magpie
Gemstones: ruby, garnet, sard, quartz, selenite, angelite
Trees: Hazel, forsythia, lilac, willow
Flowers: daisy, sweetpea
Herbs: Dandelion, milkweed, dogwood, fennel, dill
Element: Air 
Deities: Ishtar, Tawaret, Venus, Herne, Cernunnos
Nature Spirits: Plant Fairies


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

KWW: Witches Brew

Witches' Brew is a recipe found in Scott Cunninghams' book: the Encyclopedia of Wicca in the Kitchen.  I can't wait to try this one out!!  (P.S.  that is just a stock image that I liked - I'm pretty sure the actual recipe does not make a green brew!)

Ingredients:
3/4 ounce White Rum
3/4 ounce Dark Rum
1/4 ounce Orange Curacao
Sweet and Sour (I'm not sure exactly what this is... if you know, let me know in the comments!)
2 ounces Orange Juice
2 ounces Pineapple Juice
a "splash" of Gerenadine
Pineapple Slice and Maraschino Cherries to garnish
Crushed Ice

What to do:
Fill your glass with crushed ice.
Add other ingredients in order and garnish if desired.
Serve immediately.

Enjoy. -- and remember do not drink and fly drive!

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Monday, April 2, 2012

A Confession

Hello.  My name is Emberlyn and I am a chronic houseplant killer.
Seriously.  It's almost embarrassing to be a Witch that cannot keep a little houseplant alive.

You'd never know if from looking at my lush and adundant herb garden, but when it comes to house plants, for the life of me, I cannot get them to survive.  I am ashamed to admit that the majority of my houseplants are fake.  And to be honest, I cannot figure out what I do wrong - I water them and ensure they get sun light but eventually they all shrivel.

Meet the latest of my casualties...


Sunday, April 1, 2012

How to Write a Good Blog

Despite the title, this is not an entry about how to write  blog.  But I did come across and EXCELLENT article today that I wanted to share with you from the Pioneer Woman.  Go on -- take a peek at her blog, I will wait right here.

I really like the first point: Be yourself; write as if you are talking to your sister.  I'm going to do that from now on.  I also need to work on writing through my writers block, especially if I am going to continue the Kitten Capers section of the E-Zine.

So dear fans.... [insert drum roll here] I hope you are ready for the improved blogging styles of Emberlyn Rayne...