Merry Meet all. I am Jade Owl and welcome to my cottage.
Summertime is the time of family reunions and kids constantly running in and out, beaches, cook-outs, and hot temperatures. Life seems to be in constant motion this time of year and we long for the slow days of fall and winter when life will move at a more acceptable pace.
During the summer we all tend to try to avoid doing a lot of heavy cooking in our kitchens. We move to the outdoor grill or open fire. The recipes I am writing this month will not keep you in your kitchen overly long and will not heat it up too much. I will save that for our October and later newsletters.
** Please take Note: DO NOT USE any of the herbs in the recipes if you are not sure how your body will react to them. Everyone’s body is different, what works for me may not work for you**
I know that nutritionists and such will tell you that a lot of pasta is not good for your diet. I feel that during the summer when everyone is on the move that we need the carbs that pasta gives us. Pasta salad is a good way to get those needed carbs. I am not much for the boxed pasta salads you get at the store so I am always coming up with new ones. This is one of my favorites:
Mint/Herb Butter Pasta Salad
1 Pkg multi-colored pasta
3 tbsp dried spearmint leaves 2 tbsp mince onion
1tbsp minced garlic ½ tsp sea salt
½ – ¾ c butter or margarine (amount will depend on your tastes)
1/8 tsp pepper
Cook pasta according to pkg directions. Drain and rinse with cold water to cool the pasta and rinse off excess starch. Set aside.
In small sauce pan combine the rest of the ingredients and stir constantly with a wooden spoon over low heat. You do not want the leaves to scorch. Stir about 7 min until the minced onion and garlic soften up. Remove from heat and pour over pasta. Using your wooden spoon toss the pasta to cover with the butter sauce. At this point you can place the salad in the fridge to chill or serve at room temp.
In the summertime I try to eat more fruit and pasta salads, salads, and the like. The heat drives me nuts… I love to experiment with different herbs this is how I came up with this next seasoning. I call it simply a summer seasoning. You can use dried or fresh flowers just make sure to wash the fresh flowers well. This will also spice up fresh fruit and cottage cheese. Experiment and let me know what you use it on.
1 tsp fennel seed, ground 1tbsp lavender flowers
1 tbsp rose petals, color of choice 1/8 tsp fresh ground ginger
½ tsp cinnamon ¼ tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp clove ground ¼ tsp allspice
Place all ingredients in a jar and shake well to blend cap tightly and store in cabinet until ready to use. Sprinkle and enjoy.
I lived just north of Houston, Tx for over 10 years and learned really fast that humidity, heat, and cooking really don’t mix, I love to cook so I learned to cook-out. Be it open flame or grill put me outside with a pair of tongs in my hand and I am one happy witch! There are so many BBQ sauces on the market today that it is hard for me to decide so I came up with a seasoning to add to plain old BBQ sauce to give it a different kick. You can also add other flavors such as mesquite or hickory smoke liquids found at your local market, Use these sparingly as a LITTLE goes a LONG way!
Spice up Your BBQ Sauce Seasoning
2 tbsp coriander 1 tbsp paprika
1tbsp white pepper 1tsp cumin
½ tsp ground clove ½ tsp crushed rosemary
Place all herbs in small bowl and toss or stir to combine. Pour BBQ sauce in Bowl and then pour the herbs into it. Stir well. BBQ till your heart’s content!
Herbs have medicinal and magickal uses. Now is the time to start harvesting some of the herbs you planted this year. The kitchen is where most of my magick is created. When I am creating a new recipe I use whatever herbs call to me, but I also take into consideration what magickal use and medicinal property the herb has, as well as whether or not the herbs meld together well. Stress and chaos used to run through my house like a wildfire until I started using more rosemary and basil in my cooking. Shhhh don’t tell my family.
When using any herb for medicinal use please keep your family’s allergies and sensitivities in mind. Some herbs may be harmful to people with certain medical conditions. For example: Comfrey may be good for relieving the symptoms of arthritis and ulcers, but in people with kidney disease it is extremely harmful.
With our busy schedules in the summer it is sometimes hard to calm the mind at night when we lay our heads down to sleep. Swim schedules, summer parties, appointments seem to wait till we try to quiet our minds to rear up and pop front and center. Herb tea before bed is a good way to help unwind and relax. I am always coming up with tea concoctions and have a huge notebook full of recipes; I use this next one to relax after a really busy day.
Rice Water and Valerian Tea to Relax and Calm the Mind
¼ c white rice 1 vanilla bean
1 level tsp cinnamon ¼ tsp Valerian Root, ground
Honey to taste
Bring 1 qt water to boil, reduce heat and add all ingredients except honey. Simmer stirring occasionally. Strain and serve hot with honey to your taste. Store remaining tea in glass container in fridge. Will store for about 7 days. Use 1 cup of tea each night to help you relax the mind and ease into sleep.
Time Tried Household Tips
We live in an instant gratification world and some find it simpler to just go to the store and buy things to clean house and control pests that are not good for Mother Earth. In my way of thinking it is cheaper to make things to clean our home and control pests. Our ancestors used these remedies for years… if they worked for them, why not us?
*A solution of weak tea, ammonia, and dish soap, and water in a spray bottle, sprayed on your house plants every couple of weeks should keep most bugs away.
* To keep ants out; try placing crushed cloves, or sage around your doors and windows.
* Peppermint planted around your house will keep mice at bay. Oil of Peppermint on cotton balls in your cupboards and where mice like to hang out will also deter them.
* Place a whole bay leaf in your flour canister; it will keep the weevils out.
* To clean copper bottomed pans use water that you have boiled onions in.
* Mint planted around the house helps chase away mosquitoes
*Tobacco juice (boiled leaves or tobacco water strained) will keep potato bugs off your potato plants
Witchy Beauty Tips
Nothing can take the place of natural beauty practices. The fewer chemicals we use the better we are.
*Castor Oil carefully applied to the eyelashes with a mascara brush will help strengthen the eyelashes and stimulate lash growth.
*For smooth lips use a soft toothbrush to gently slough off dead skin and apply sweet almond or pure coconut oil to keep lips soft. Sugar mixed with one of the oils is a good exfoliate when used with the toothbrush for very dry lips. Only use the sugar scrub about 2 times a week as the lips are sensitive. Apply one of the oils nightly.
*To replenish hair’s luster and sheen 10 drops of rose oil added to some of your conditioner and used as a last rinse works nicely.
*For a great moisturizing boost to your hair once a week try a hot oil treatment with pure coconut oil. Wash hair as usual and massage oil into scalp and hair strand. Leave in overnight and rinse (do not wash) hair in the morning and style as you please. Be careful adding styling products as it may cause hair to become oily. The coconut oil serves in place of these products. Place a towel over linens or use a cap to protect your pillow and linens. I have VERY curly hair therefore prone to frizz and knots. I started doing this every time I shower and I am now combing out less and less tangles and my curls look great!
Sizzling Summer Sun!!!
Beautiful sun filled days, more hours of daylight, and vacations! During the summer we spend most of our time outside with our children, family reunions, tending our flowers, veggies, and herbs, or just bumming at the beach or pool. Our skin takes a beating during the summer. I don’t know about all of you, but with everything I am doing I tend to forget to moisturize every night.
Drinking plenty of water and moisturizing keeps our bodies and skin hydrated, but sometimes we need something more. Try this skin healing bath:
1 c each of the following flowers:
Chamomile, elder, morning glory
½ c each of the following flowers:
Lavender, lemon balm, rose geranium, and rose petals (color of your choosing)
If using fresh flowers make sure they are washed.
Tie the flowers in a linen square or cheesecloth and place under faucet of your bathwater. Once the bath is run you can choose to leave the flowers in the cloth in the tub until your bath is finished. Lay back and relax.
Coconut oil rubbed into the skin every night helps the body replenish moisture. Rubbed into the soles of the feet will keep them nice and soft. I swear by this oil as well as almond oil. It is your choice.
Try my recipes, tips and remedies and let me know what you think. I love to hear from my readers. You can email me at:
More next month from Jade Owl’s Cottage til then…
Take care and keep your brooms under the radar…lol