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Pixie Witch Kitchen

July 1st, 2019

Rosemary Scones with Blackberry Jam & Lemon Drizzle

Lammas and Lughnasadh are just around the corner on August 1st. Lammas is known as the first harvest. These scones will be a great treat to share in your rituals or even with yourself if you are a solitaire. They go great with a cup of hot herbal tea or, if you live in California like I do or somewhere really hot, make that an ice tea, please.

I
saw a cooking show that made scones and added rosemary to them. The
thought of that sounded really good. I made them but they were just
to dry for me and needed something sweet. I looked up different
recipes for scones and saw some had added jam to them after they
baked. Hmmmm why not add it before kinda like thumb print cookies
right? So I tried it and ohhh yessss it’s what they needed. You can
use any flavor of course even orange marmalade.

I
make a certain type of banana bread that I use a sweet drizzle on, so
of course I thought lets try a yummy drizzle and it was even better.

I have a sweet tooth can ya tell? So I ended up with this amazing scone. It’s not like a biscuit at all but not quite a cookie either but it IS amazing. So here we go…..

In
this recipe I picked three magickal ingredients. Ok they are all
magickal right but lets just focus on three today. Lemons,
Blackberries
and Rosemary.

Lemons

Lemons yum who doesn’t love lemons? Wait what did I hear someone say I don’t? I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that hee hee. Lemons are a great source of vitamin C, it promotes hydration, helps with tummy-aches and helps prevent painful kidney stones.

Lemons
are also used for protection so make sure to save some of your lemon
peel, dry it out and add it in your spell work, protection bottles
and medicine bags.

Lemons
are ruled by the Moon and its element is Water.

Blackberries

Blackberries
are also packed with vitamin C, high in fiber and a great source of
potassium and magnesium.

Blackberries
represent an abundant harvest and are used in magickal cooking and
spells for Prosperity.

Blackberries
are ruled by Earth and of course its element is Earth.

Rosemary

Rosemary
is great to reduce muscle aches, boost up your immune system, helps
digestive issues, helps your memory and helps hair growth.

Rosemary
can also be used in making your own incense to give peace of the
mind, it also releases psychic, spiritual and physical purification.

Rosemary
is also used for smudging.

Rosemary
is ruled by the Sun and its element is Fire.

Recipe

Makes
12-14 depending on your cookie cutter size.

For
the Dough

2
Cups Flour and extra for dusting the table

1/2
Cup Sugar

1-
1/2 TBSP Rosemary chopped up

1/2
TSP Salt and a pinch to toss over your left shoulder for luck

2
TSP Baking Powder

6
TBSP Butter cut up

1
Cup of Heavy Whipping Cream

For
the Topping

1/3
Cup of Blackberry Jam

For
the Glaze

1/4 Cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice (you can use store bought if you don’t have any fresh lemons)

2
Cups of Confectioners Sugar

1
or 2 TBSP of Water

Now to start baking these delicious treats. I like to burn incense or burn a little sage before I start. Then I like to go to my Kitchen Witch Altar and ask my Kitchen Witch to help me with what I’m making. I haven’t given her a name yet and I’ve had her for many years. It was a gift from my sweet friend Jenny. It actually belonged to her mother and was passed down to her and then me. I believe she was made in the late 60s. So shes a huge part of my Kitchen Witch altar

Get
all your kitchen tools ready. I used 2 bowls, a rolling pin, baking
sheet, parchment paper, mixing spoons I love using wooden spoons for
doughs. Measuring cups and spoons, knife and cookie cutters. You will
notice I used a Moon, Star and Witch Hat in this pic BUT it was to
small and it made a mess of the scones. I’ve always used bigger
cutters but I thought it’d be cute, well it wasn’t haha and in this
case size matters so please please nothing to small. I’ll add a
picture of what they looked like towards the end of this article. Try
and stick to 3″ or bigger. Remember these are scones not
cookies.

Now
get out all your ingredients

Now
preheat your oven to 350 F

Don’t
forget to line your baking sheet with parchment paper.

Its
time to chop up your Rosemary. Mmmm doesn’t it smell wonderful? Chop
it up nice and fine.

Now
in a large bowl mix together the flour, sugar, butter, baking power,
salt and rosemary. With a wooden spoon mix it really well. I like to
go clockwise.

You
can use a food processor at this point if you need to. Sometimes its
much easier especially if you have a hard time mixing by hand as I do
at times.

Slowly
pour in the heavy whipping cream. (if your using the food processor
please dump it into a large bowl now)

Now stir with a wooden spoon until it forms a dough ball.

Next
step is very important haha. If you wear a lot of rings like I do
TAKE THEM OFF now. Nothing is worse then trying to get dough out of
all the grooves of your rings.

Now
mix the rest and knead the dough.

Form a ball.

Now
the fun part, I really love rolling out the dough and cutting it out.
So dust your work surface with flour and roll out dough 1/2″
thick. You can do half at a time or whatever your comfortable with
and what space you have. I usually split the dough in 3 and do it
that way. Its very important though to make sure its 1/2 ”
thick.

Next
grab them cookie cutters and cut out your shapes.

Fill your cookie sheet, they don’t really spread much so you don’t have to leave a lot of space between them. Here is the tricky part if you have long finger nails like I do, you need to make an indentation in the middle of each to hold the jam. I’ve tried my knuckles on my finger it works most of the time until I thought hey wait a sec how about using a measuring spoon. Tada it works great!! So simply press the back of the measuring spoon into the middle of each scone.

Now
drop in about 1/2 a TSP or a tad more to fill each indentation.
Doesn’t it look yummy?

Now
place in the oven and set the timer to 10 mins. It can take from
10-15 mins depending on your oven. Mine took 11 mins.

When
the edges start to turn golden its time to take them out and let them
sit 3-4 mins before you remove them.

Now
carefully remove to a cooling rack.

I
let them cool off for about 45 mins before I add the glaze. So go
grab something to drink and clean up your mess and get the next
ingredients ready. They should be cooled off by now.

The
glaze is simple. Add the 2 cups of confectioners sugar in a medium
bowl and add your lemon juice. Stir really well and add a bit of
water to make it a drizzle.

Now
use a fork and drizzle all over the scones. You can add as much as
you like. I like a lot but I don’t want to over power the flavor so
I try to hold back.

Guess what? Your finished. Yep you did it. Now the hardest part of it all. Let them rest till the glaze is dry, it depends on the temperature of your house. I usually give it a couple hours just to make sure but the good news is you don’t have to wait that long to try them. Store them in an air tight container.

Oh
I almost forgot to add the picture of what happens if you use small
cookie cutters. I bow my head in shame with these but they still
taste great but not very pretty are they?

Hahaha lesson learned and it saves you from making the same mistake right? Hmmm maybe I did it on purpose, yep that’s it. Ok I had no control over it but the Universe did it and I’m sticking to that story. Wink Wink.

A little about me. I’m 45 years young and live in California. I was born in England but came to the California when I was 5 years old. My mother who is no longer with us was a magickal cook. She wasn’t a witch (or was she I always wondered) but her cooking was amazing. So the apple didn’t fall far from the tree and it must be why I love to cook and bake. I love making my own recipes and adding magick to them. I am Pagan/Wiccan and honestly I feel I was born a witch. I finally came out of the broom closet in 2008 but I always knew I was. I was just scared to tell people, but now I know there is no reason to be scared. I am who I am and I’m very proud of it. I started a Kitchen Witch group years ago on Facebook and now I’m honoured to be your Pixie Witch here. Some may say Pixie where does that come from, well I’m 5’1 and barely 100 pounds with long long red hair. So my friends started to call me Pixie and it stuck. So here I am Pixie Witch.

I hope you guys enjoy this recipe. This is my first article with you and I’d love to hear from you guys so please leave me a comment and tell me what ya think. Blessed Be!

***

About
the Author:

Sarah Mascorro AKA Pixie Witch. I’m 45 years young and have been married to my soul mate for 27 plus year. We have 2 boys and live in good ole California. I was actually born in England but came to the states when I was 5.

I’m Pagan/Wiccan and have been practicing over 10 years now. I always knew I was different but didn’t figure it out till 2008, that’s when I came out of the broom closet. I’m a Witch and I’m proud of it. When I say different I mean I just didn’t fit in with what others did or believed in. I’m sure you all totally understand that feeling. Now I know though I’m not different, I’m me and there are so many others like me.

I hold rituals at my house with my circle for each Sabbat and we do a lot of witch crafts together. I love to do all types of crafts not just witchy like I make dream catchers, wood burn, make soaps and bath salts. I love to cross stitch and make latch hook rugs. I have a small page on Facebook that I sell my goodies. You can FIND THEM HERE at Pixiewitchcorner.

I love to cook and bake. My mother was a great cook & I picked up her talent. I love to make my own fun recipes and add some magick to them. I mean cooking is magickal right so why not add a little extra to it. I started a Kitchen Witch Group on Facebook over 4 years ago. If your on FB come check it out.

I
love to spend my time with my hubby & boys. We love to be out in
nature especially the beach & the forest. I belong in the forest,
I guess all pixie’s do hee hee. My friends call me Pixie due to my
size I’m 5’1 and barely 100 pounds with really long red and silver
hair hee hee.

I collect stones like hag stones, labradorite, amethysts, quartz etc… I also collect witch statues, Goddess statues, owls, crows and the Moon. Oh & sea glass I cant forget that. Do tattoos count? If so I have over a 100 of them I’m about 80% covered.

Another
hobby is photography. I love taking pictures of nature such as
flowers, animals, trees, mountains, the ocean and my favorite of all
the Moon.

I love to unwind two ways one is with a great book, usually witchy or paranormal ones catch my attention the most. I do read & research a lot about the human body and diseases due to my families rare health issues. The other is going outside under the stars and Moon. What a great way to end the day looking up at the dark beautiful sky.

That’s pretty much it, you see what you get hee hee. You either love me or hate me. Hopefully you all will love me haha.

Absolutely The Best Pasta Salad In the World

My family usually has some kind of reunion each summer – one side gathering here and the other side gathering there – and for the last twenty-odd years, I have been bringing “my” pasta salad to every family picnic. It doesn’t even have an official name – it’s just “Polly’s Pasta Salad” – and everyone loves it. But it’s not really my salad. Like everything else I make, it’s a recipe I got from someone else and then I tweaked it – again and again – until it settled into the form it has today.

It’s funny. I don’t even use a recipe to make this salad nowadays – I have it memorized and I “do” it off the top of my head. So I was quite surprised to see my own recipe in my own handwriting with my own notes. I had forgotten a few things.

One, I haven’t called this salad “Italian Pasta Salad” in years. I just call it “My Pasta Salad” like it’s the only pasta salad in the entire world and everyone knows what I am talking about! Also I was amazed to see that I had written down to rinse the pasta after cooking. Did I ever do that? I absolutely never do that now. I do like seeing how I added the additional ingredients along the side – I prefer cherry tomatoes to grape or sundried – but I have also used Campari tomatoes, quartered.

 

The salad itself was adapted – as it says on the page from my personal cookbook – from The Enchanted Broccoli Forest by Mollie Katzen. This is one of my very favorite cookbooks. All of Mollie Katzen’s cookbooks are fabulous. It doesn’t matter if you are vegetarian or not, you are going to find great recipes in these books! And they are visually beautiful. The recipes are hand-lettered by Katzen and she does all the drawings, too. I personally can’t draw to save my life – unless we are talking about the crudest stick figures – so I have the greatest admiration for Katzen’s talents.

But again, I was amazed when I looked at the original recipe. Did I ever make it the way she wrote it? I don’t remember ever using shell pasta – I have always used rotini. And I have never – and I repeat never – used vinegar or any other herbs or spices when dressing the hot pasta. I have never used anything but extra-virgin olive oil. And Parmesan cheese in the dressing mix! I am absolutely sure that I have never included that – although honestly, it’s not a half-bad idea and one I’m going to try next time. Why not? It might really rock. But I’m looking at all this and wondering – my copy of The Enchanted Broccoli Forest is a revised edition. Was it different in the original edition – the one from which I copied the recipe? I messaged my friend who owns the original cookbook, and he confirmed that in the original edition, the hot pasta is marinated in nothing other but extra-virgin olive oil. I wonder what prompted Katzen to make the change?

Anyway – none of rambling changes how I make the salad now or how totally fabulous this salad is. But you have to follow instructions. Like certain spells – you can change some of the items you need and it won’t change the workings of the spell – in fact, it might make it work even better, since it’ll personalize the spell. For this salad, you can change certain vegetables – you can leave out the meat and the cheese if you want a vegan salad – but you have to prepare the pasta exactly as the recipe says – and you have to use fresh herbs. I will confess – I have made this salad with dried herbs and you can get away with dried parsley if you have to. But you are short-changing yourself if you don’t have fresh basil. If you don’t have basil in your garden, buy it at the store. But it’s an integral part of the flavor of this salad.

First start a pot to boil on your stove. When it comes to a full boil, pour a pound box of rotini pasta into it and stir it well.

Pasta cooks by moving, so you want to give it a stir once in a while during the cooking process. This is a great opportunity for circle magic. If it’s the waxing moon, stir clockwise and recite out loud everything that you wish to bring into your life. Say affirmations. If it’s during the waning moon, stir widdershins and chant the things you want to remove from your world. Remember that now is always the best time for magic!

When the pasta is almost soft, drain in a strainer.

BUT DO NOT RINSE. I cannot stress this enough. DO NOT RINSE THE PASTA. The pasta must be hot to absorb the olive oil. Put the drained pasta in a bowl and pour a third of a cup of extra virgin olive oil over the hot pasta and mix it well. Doesn’t it smell heavenly? Let it sit for a half an hour or so to cool. I usually put it in the fridge for twenty minutes or so after that to chill down a little more.

After the pasta is chilled and it’s absorbed the olive oil, start adding your vegetables. If you want, blanch the broccoli – it’s not necessary but it gives it a brighter green color. Just remember to shock it with ice cold water as soon as the water comes to a boil to stop the cooking process so that the broccoli remains crunchy.

Add the green pepper, the red pepper, the grape tomatoes (all I could get this time around), the olives and the artichoke hearts. Or whatever vegetables you wish to add.

At this point, you could stop – you have a perfectly good salad right here. And if you are vegetarian or vegan, omit the pepperoni or the mozzarella. But if you are making this for omnivores, add the meat and the cheese.

I usually slice the pepperoni in about a half a millimeter-sized slices and then quarter the slices. Naturally, a few slices get popped into my mouth!

I cut the mozzarella into half-inch cubes. I snacked on quite of few of them, too! I love cheese!

At this point I realized that I needed a bigger bowl. I wasn’t going to be able to mix the cheese in without spilling out the rest of the salad! Oops! Luckily I have one really large wooden bowl, made for salads.

The next thing is to made the rest of the dressing. I generally just add the red wine vinegar and the rest of olive oil “by eye” but for purposes of this article, I measured the vinegar:

For seasonings, I add garlic powder, garlic salt, freshly ground pepper, either fresh chopped parsley or dried parsley or freshly chopped basil. For the basil, what I usually do is take several leaves and cut them into little pieces with a pair of scissors. You really want fresh basil for this salad. If you can get fresh parsley, that’s so much velvet but fresh basil is paramount.

Mix the red wine vinegar, additional olive oil, and seasonings into the salad and stir well. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and chill at least several hours – overnight is better. You want to stir it every once in a while. Stirring keeps the magic alive.

My recipe reads that it serves 4-6 people but that depends on individual appetites and what else is being served at the picnic or reunion. I have taken this salad to Yule parties and Superbowl parties as well – it’s a hit wherever I bring it.

So here is the recipe. Try it and love it – I guarantee you will!

Absolutely The Best Pasta Salad In the World”

One 1-lb box of rotini pasta

2/3 cup olive oil, divided

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

Broccoli crowns, blanched

Cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

1 small green pepper, chopped

1 small red onion, chopped

1 can small black olives

1 can quartered artichoke hearts

1 stick pepperoni, sliced & quartered

One 1-lb block of mozzarella, cut into half-inch cubes

Seasonings: garlic powder, garlic salt, pepper, fresh parsley & fresh basil

Cook the pasta in boiling water until almost soft. Drain. DO NOT RINSE. Put the pasta into a bowl & pour 1/3 cup olive oil over it & mix well. Marinate for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the rest of the ingredients and chill at least an hour or overnight. The longer you chill it, the better it tastes.

References

Katzen, Mollie. ion.The Enchanted Broccoli Forest: New Revised Edit Berkley, CA: Ten Speed Press, 1995.

The New Enchanted Broccoli Forest (Mollie Katzen’s Classic Cooking (Paperback))

 

***

About the Author:

Polly MacDavid lives in Buffalo, New York at the moment but that could easily change, since she is a gypsy at heart. Like a gypsy, she is attracted to the divinatory arts, as well as camp fires and dancing barefoot. She has three cats who all help her with her magic.

Her philosophy about religion and magic is that it must be thoroughly based in science and logic. She is Dianic Wiccan and she is solitary.

She blogs at silverapplequeen.wordpress.com. She writes about general life, politics and poetry. She is writing a novel about sex, drugs and recovery.

 

Heirloom Holiday Cutout Cookies

I have been studying and practicing the skills associated with the Pagan and Wiccan religions for over thirty years now. My Book of Shadows, once a small spiral notebook, has grown to three large notebook binders, organized by subject and carefully maintained. Much of my information was copied from library books but nowadays I am more likely to print directly from the internet.

I am a fairly eclectic witch – I live with the seasons and work to develop my divinatory skills – as a solitary, my rituals are very quiet and quite Zen-like in their simplicity. I am also unapologetically Dianic and see no reason to invoke a male god.

Like my BOS, my personal culinary notebook has grown from a slender binder to two large binders with pockets for recipe cards. I collect cookbooks and read cooking magazines and have more subscriptions to cooking blogs than I really have time to read. Like so many of us magical people, I am a kitchen witch – I grown my own herbs and I enjoy my time in the kitchen.

The holidays are my favorite time of the year. Starting with Samhain and ending with Twelfth Night, it is a time to feast with family and friends. Many of us have specialty recipes that we only cook this time of year.

“Heirloom Holiday Cutout Cookies” are what I call a recipe that has been in my family for generations. In my personal cookbook, the name is “Christmas Cutouts” but I have been changing names of cookies to reflect a more multicultural bias. Anyway, these cookies are a rich butter cookie – the very best cookie of its kind. I insist that you only use butter – not margarine and not shortening. And use whole milk. And real vanilla. It makes a big difference. Also, make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature before you start mixing them together and that your butter is truly soft.

Heirloom

Heirloom Holiday Cutout Cookies

1 cup soft butter

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

3 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

½ cup milk

Cream together butter & sugar until smooth. Add eggs & beat well. Add vanilla.

Mix together dry ingredients in another bowl. Add to creamed mixture alternately with milk.

Chill dough several hours. Roll out to desired thickness & cut, using cookie cutters. The fatter the dough, the more cake-like the cookie. Also, the fewer cookies produced.

Bake at 375 until lightly browned.

Frost cookies with Buttercream Frosting (below) & decorate as desired.

Buttercream Frosting:

½ cup soft butter

3 cups confectioners sugar

Enough milk to make it spreadable

1 tsp vanilla

Magical Molasses Crinkles

If you want a cookie that stays moist and chewy for days – even a week! – this is the cookie for you. Rich and spicy, they are perfect for cold rainy days or cool summer nights and they pair perfectly with grapes and cheeses and an orange-spice herbal tea or that favorite dry white wine you only pull out for special occasions. This cookie is known as Molasses Crinkles and it is indeed magical.

This is a cookie my mother used to make all the time and still does. It is from the original (first edition, published in 1950) Betty Crocker Cookbook – I do not think later editions have this recipe in it. I know the edition I bought in the late 1990’s does not have it – or many of the other wonderful recipes that are in this book!

cooking1

If you can find one, I highly suggest you beg, borrow, buy it or steal it! No kitchen witch should be without this basic text.

Molasses Crinkles are very easy to make. As with all recipes, get out everything you need before you start.

cooking2

Sift your dry ingredients and set them aside and then cream your softened butter and brown sugar together before adding the molasses. My mother used to tell me that I was “as slow as molasses in January” and if you make these cookies in the winter, you’ll know what she meant! You have to chill the dough for at least a half-hour, so allow yourself time. The recipes is as follows –

cooking3

Cream together – ¾ cup soften butter or shortening

1 cup brown sugar

Add – 1 beaten egg

And – ¼ cup molasses

Sift together & add in – 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

cooking4

Chill dough. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Ready a small bowl of white sugar for dipping. After an hour or so, bring the dough out of the fridge & roll into balls the size of walnuts. Dip the tops into sugar. Place each ball, sugar-side up, onto a greased baking sheet about three inches apart. Bake until just set but not hard, 10 to 12 minutes, depending on your oven. Makes about 3 or 4 dozen cookies. Put into a container with a tight lid and these cookies will stay soft and chewy for over a week!

cooking5

Honestly, these look so good, I want to eat them right out of the picture! You HAVE to try these! They are TRULY magical! Until next month, this is Polly Applequeen the Kitchen Witch. Bon Appetite!

Browned Butter Blondies

The first time I made “Blondies”, I was in fact making Chocolate Chip Cookies and I realized that I didn’t have enough time to bake four pans of twelve cookies on each pan, so I put the cookie dough into a lightly-greased 9×13 pan and a picnic tradition was born. This was many years ago – my son James was just a little guy. I have made many pans of “Blondies” – some with dark chocolate chips, some with white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts, some with crushed peanut M&M’s, some with walnuts or pecans or even cashews – the variations are endless.

So, I was pleasantly pleased to come across this recipe for Browned Butter Blondies at The Food Charlatan, a blog I discovered recently. I love browned butter. I love its nutty aroma and the added dimension it brings to food. I usually brown butter for my popcorn – it really rocks – especially if you add a touch of garlic salt to the butter before putting it on the popped corn.

If you don’t know how to brown butter, I suggest you go to YouTube and check out some of the tutorials on how to do it. It’s much easier once you’ve seen it done in front of you. I was lucky – I learned as a young girl from my mother. It’s quite like scalding milk – you have to keep the heat at medium and you have to keep stirring – the fun part when you’re a child. It’s very easy to burn butter – just like milk – but the technique, once you have it down, is also quite easy. Honestly, it’s like riding a bike. When you’re first learning, you fall off a lot and scrap your knees and elbows – and maybe you cry a little bit – but suddenly you just know how to do it. And then you always know how to do it.

The first thing I did was start the butter to melting.

As I slowly melted the butter, I got out the other ingredients that I needed: brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour, baking soda, salt, and the chocolate chips. I didn’t have any nuts in my pantry except for the almonds that I snack on each day and although I personally think that all cookies and bars of this type ought to have nuts in them, I decided that I didn’t want almonds in this batch. I also decided that I didn’t feel like running to the store to buy any other nuts!

After the butter is melted, immediately pour it into your mixing bowl so that it doesn’t burn sitting in the hot pan! I let it cool for a few minutes before adding the brown sugar.

Remember to pack the brown sugar! When you add it, mix it well! But wow! This is like candy. In fact, this makes me think of making homemade butterscotch candy with my mother when I was twelve or so. That was a lot of fun. A lot of work but a lot of fun.

Add the vanilla and mix well. And then the eggs. I put the eggs into a bowl first because I’ve had too many eggs break badly and pieces of shell fall into the batter – and this is exactly what happened – there was a bad break and I had to pick pieces of shell out of the egg in the bowl before beating them. But at least the pieces of shell weren’t in the batter. It’s always easier to get pieces of shell out of the egg than out of the batter.

And then you add your dry ingredients – the flour, the baking soda and the salt. If you have a sifter like I do, add them in that fashion, but if not, just measure them into a bowl, mix well, and then add them.

Then add the all-important chocolate chips!! Yummy!!

The recipe didn’t say to grease the pan but I did anyway.

My pan was slightly smaller than 9×13 and I had to bake them longer than the 23-27 minutes that the recipe said it would take for “gooey” bars but of course, I have an electric oven and every oven is different, even the gas ovens that I prefer. Your oven might bake these faster than mine or it might bake them slower. And in a 13×9 pan, they might have been done in that time frame. But I am not complaining.

THESE THINGS ARE AWESOME. They smelled so great that I couldn’t even wait for them to cool to cut into them and try them out and of course the first one fell apart completely but then I had the most fabulous idea of putting a little ice cream on the top of it – yeah really – all it needed was some hot fudge sauce and whipped cream! But damn! Was that ever good!

(picture blurry cuz I was in a hurry to chow down)

After the pan cooled, the bars came out in perfect fashion, as shown here:

And everyone who had one of these Browned Butter Blondies raved about how good they were! Believed me! They are fabulously, magically good!

So – make this recipe! I’m not even phrasing this as a suggestion – I’m telling you to do it. Add chocolate chips, nuts, oats, even dried cranberries would be good! This is kitchen witchery at its finest!

References

The Food Charlatanhttp://thefoodcharlatan.com/browned-butter-blondies/

***

About the Author:

Polly MacDavid lives in Buffalo, New York at the moment but that could easily change, since she is a gypsy at heart. Like a gypsy, she is attracted to the divinatory arts, as well as camp fires and dancing barefoot. She has three cats who all help her with her magic.

Her philosophy about religion and magic is that it must be thoroughly based in science and logic. She is Dianic Wiccan and she is solitary.

She blogs at silverapplequeen.wordpress.com. She writes about general life, politics and poetry. She is writing a novel about sex, drugs and recovery.

Wicked Simple and Easy Black Beans and Rice

Every Thanksgiving, I make a huge dinner for my son and myself and sometimes his father – if he is in town from Florida – and maybe one or two other people. I always make homemade bread stuffing for the turkey that I lovingly roast. I make garlic mashed potatoes with creamy gravy. There is always some kind of squash on the table – butternut squash or acorn squash or perhaps a nice creamy mixture of several squashes, delicately seasoned. I can’t imagine any meal without a salad, so of course there is a large bowl filled with mixed greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, sliced red onions, and other salad goodies. Neither my son nor I are great fans of cranberry sauce but if I have guests who crave some of that condiment, I happily cook down fresh cranberries, sugar, some citrus and spring water into a toothsome treat. And of course, there has to be some corn and some beans. I used to make either succotash or a green bean casserole – both yummy dishes – but now I make beans and rice. There are several reasons for this. The first is that I can make it up a day or two before the holiday and reheat it in minutes before the meal and it’s always yummy good. The second is that if I happen to have any vegetarians at my meal, I don’t have to worry about them not getting a nutritionally complete meal – beans and rice are a complete protein all by themselves. The third is – of course – I can have corn and beans on my table all in one luscious dish!

I make beans and rice all the time. It’s one of those things that I make a little differently every time I make it, depending on what I have on hand – I almost always have leftover rice, so I make a batch of beans and rice usually once a week. I prefer black beans over all other beans but I will use red beans or garbanzos or black-eyed peas or lentils or any kind of bean at all.

But for this recipe, you are going to want a can of black beans. I used day-old leftover rice but if you make it fresh, you will need a cup and a half. You will also need a half a can of corn, a medium-sized green pepper, a small onion or half a medium-sized one, some chunky salsa, and about two tablespoons of olive oil. And your seasonings: dried cilantro, dried parsley, garlic powder, salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Start by chopping the green pepper and onion. You can have a rough chop on these. You need about a cup of each.

Put the olive oil in your pan and heat for sautéing and then add the peppers and onions. Give them a good stir and let sauté in the hot oil for about two minutes.

Then add the rice and mix well. Reduce the heat.

The next thing you want to do is add the black beans, but before you do that, you need to drain them and rinse them or else the liquid in the can will stain the entire dish. This is the only time I strain black beans.

After making sure there’s no moisture left on the beans, add them to the rice and peppers and onions mixture, mixing well.

You are not going to need the entire can of corn – if you want to buy a smaller can, go ahead but that’s much more expensive and there’s always something extra corn can be thrown into – soups, casseroles, potpies – so I don’t mind using half a can of corn and then saving the rest for some other use. And of course, you can always use frozen corn – the amount comes out to about 2/3 cup. And maybe you like lots of corn! And you want the entire can in there! Who knows? We’re all different. Anyway – add the corn and mix well. It’s looking really pretty, isn’t it?

After mixing the corn in, I add the salsa. I have to admit – I was a little light in the salsa department but there was enough to make it pretty and give it flavor. I also seasoned it with garlic powder, dried cilantro, dried parsley, sea salt and lots of black pepper.

At this point, it’s ready for serving or for putting into a container for saving for Thanksgiving dinner. This works well if you make it twenty-four hours in advance but I wouldn’t try to make it three or four days in advance. The peppers and onions don’t sit around that long very well.

Whether you are making this for your Thanksgiving dinner or just a quick meal on a chilly winter night, you can’t go wrong with the perfection of Wicked Simple and Easy Black Beans and Rice.

Until next month, Brightest Blessings!

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About the Author:

Polly MacDavid lives in Buffalo, New York at the moment but that could easily change, since she is a gypsy at heart. Like a gypsy, she is attracted to the divinatory arts, as well as camp fires and dancing barefoot. She has three cats who all help her with her magic.

Her philosophy about religion and magic is that it must be thoroughly based in science and logic. She is Dianic Wiccan and she is solitary.

She blogs at silverapplequeen.wordpress.com. She writes about general life, politics and poetry. She is writing a novel about sex, drugs and recovery.

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