Thursday, April 28, 2011

Yellow Rice & Sausage



Ingredients:
  1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (3 turns of the pan)
  2. 2 tsps Garlic (chopped)
  3. 1./2 green pepper (chopped)
  4. 1/2 orange pepper (chopped)
  5. 1/2 yellow pepper (chopped)
  6. 1 yellow onion (chopped)
  7. 1 huge sausage (Kielbasa this is what I’m using today)
  8. 2 Cups Rice
  9. 4 Cups Water
  10. 1 bottle of beer
  11. 1 tsp Bijol (or paprika or saffron) (this will give you yellow rice)
  12. 1  1/2 tsp salt
  13. 1 tsp Oregano
  14. 1 Tbsp Cumin
  15. 1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
  16. 1 Tbsp Complete Seasoning
  17. Olives Optional
  18. 
    This recipe is very similar to Cuban Arroz con Pollo (Chicken with rice) or maybe even a Paella which I’ve never made. I came up with this a few weeks ago because I had ingredients on hand and didn’t want them to go to waste. DH loved it so I make it every other week. Chicken can be substituted for the sausage. Haven’t tried seafood yet but I bet it would be delicious although instead of adding water I would add shrimp stock. I used different colored peppers because I had them in my freezer, I hate to waste food. I didn’t forget the green peppers either, I had chopped them up and frozen them and just added it in when I was sautéing everything.
    I’m using Polish Kielbasa this week because my wonderful Polish neighbors brought over two huge sausages. The other one is going on the BBQ on Friday YUM YUM!  Start out with the olive oil, heat up over medium high heat, add ingredients 2 through 6 and sauté.
    Olive oil/onions and garlic
    peppers have been added
    After 2 minutes add the Kielbasa this is your 7th ingredient.
    
    Add your two cups of rice to your vegetables and Kielbasa in pan.
    Follow with your 4 cups of water
    Rice and Water added
    Your seasonings 11 through 16 can now be added. Stir.
     b
    I took one sip
    Beer please!
    Cover and bring to a boil. Don’t stray too far from the stove. You have to keep an eye on the rice. Once you can see some of the rice peeking through the liquid then you know its time to lower the heat to a simmer for 15 minutes.
    Can you see some of the rice poking through?
    While I had the timer set I found a less than half full bottle of salad olives with pimentos in the fridge. I threw that in there as well. I’m a sucker for olives. This can be added when you bring everything to a boil but since I found it kind of late, I added it anyway, what’s it going to do….sue me?
    Lonely bottle of olives that wanted to be added to this dish
    
    Better late than ever olives added to dish
      
    Finished Product after 15 minutes of simmering

    
    video


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Good Morning

OK, it is late morning.  Having one of those days that all I want to do is sit and read.  Did I mention I love books?  What Witch doesn't?  Well that's what I did.  I started Lovely Bones last night and finished it this morning.  I will do a review on it as soon as I stop CRYING!  That's all I'm saying until I can sit down and write a review.  Not that I have ever done reviews before but this must be the Spring of my folly, writing a blog, crafting, reviewing books and posting my recipes online.  What has happened to me? 

I've bolstered my lack of energy with a nice cup of Bustelo Instant Cappucino (Vanilla) pretty soon I'll be dancing around the kitchen.

 I am working on a recipe to post, I don't know what to call it because I kind of made it up.  Hopefully I will come up with a name for it by the time I share it with you. 

So this is just a brief post, letting you know I'm here and planning my little heart out.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

It's Spring...I'm Scared!

Gorgeous day here in NJ, and that brings me to the knot of fear down in the pit of my stomach.  No more wearing my husband's sweatpants!  I actually have to wear something of mine, say it isn't so.  I can no longer hide under baggy layers of warm comforting fleece and sweatshirts.  I have to lose 40 lbs in six weeks, nah, won't happen.  I have a wedding in June, I'm thinking long flowing mumu, dark glasses and bright red lipstick.  That's the ticket!

Organizing your Cupboard of Magickal Stuff

Hi there, sorry I’ve been MIA for the last few days. Finally got the computer up, my contacts back on my cell phone and Netflix! Still struggling with my crafts, mainly because I don’t have an artistic bone in my body! I’m not giving up EVER!
One thing I am pretty good at is organizing stuff. I look at things and want to put it away, make a list of what I have and then tell people about my list. That’s what happens when you are a secretary for 30 years!
As a Wanna-B-Witch I have a lot of stuff! Herbs, candles, craft projects, all these things take up room and after awhile I forget what I have. I made this handy little chart for myself. I found this has cut down on purchasing items I already have and makes the task of substituting one ingredient for another if they have the same magickal purpose simple. Pulling together items for a spell is almost as easy as twitching your nose and presto you have magick. Well not really, but it sure helps. It’s not rocket science, but hopefully it will make your magickal life a little easier. Here is a sample of what it can look like.
 


Herbs

Health

Love

Money/Luck

Allspice

X

x

Basil

x

x

Chamomile

X

X

Clove

X

x

x
 
My actual list is much longer with categories for exorcism, lust, courage, peace and psychic development. Then I have the same chart for oils and purchased incense. This can be adapted as you like. I keep it in a clear plastic folder inside my BOS. This isn't perfect, the sample chart isn't showing up as I had hoped, but at 6:30 a.m. and awake since 3 a.m. it will have to do.  This is why I am no longer a secretary Aghhhh!  Still working though Blogging for Dummies! I think you get the idea though.  Hope you like and enjoy.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Earth Day!

Good Morning Everyone!  What a gorgeous day for Earth Day here in the New Jersey!  Still cool but sunny!
Sorry I haven't posted in a few days, major issues with computer and cell phone so I have been out of contact with everyone online and on phone!  Just hot wired my computer to send out this quick message.  Go out enjoy Mother Earth, thank her for her beauty, wisdom, balance and fertility. 

Trying out some new crafts that have certainly put me in my place.  Now I know why I'm not an artist, but I'm not giving up!  If you see it here next week that means it worked out.  I leave you now to start on my many phone calls with my cable carrier, my cell phone coverage provider and modem and router experts!

Blessed Be.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What Makes a Witch

I have to admit my first attraction to the Craft was the magic, so empowering!  In my experience the magic is fun and often times necessary.  Preparing for the magic is an eye opener.  The magic begins when you start your research and search for your materials.  Its like an excavation of yourself.  Questions I ask myself, why am I doing this, is it going to hurt anyone (including me)?  I must choose my words wisely, I need to focus my energy, have quiet time.  Remember to thank and not take for granted the deities that assist me. 

I'm not always making magic, so what do I do when I'm not working on a spell?  I've always been a spiritual person, and been part of and participated in other religions.  Study was important, fellowship and prayer where major parts of my life.  I drifted away from this when I started down this path.  It was spiritually lonely.  I liked the magic part, but I needed the daily connection to God/Goddess.  Without this, to me magic can get a little stale.  Slowly I started my own rituals, taken from other religions and this one.  I light my 7 day candle every morning and I thank the Lord and Lady for another day, for safety, for blessings.  I call in my guides and angels and ask for their assistance and blessings for me and my family and those in need.  As I stand in front of my altar I can feel the energy run down my spine.  I don't even have to light the candle, the minute I approach that altar I know I'm in church or temple, its sacred ground to me. 

OK, so what about the rest of the day?  I can't go around feeling all Whoo Whoo all the time, holy and such!
A real eye opener for me is the connection of nature and becoming a Witch.  Yes, it is politically correct nowadays to care about the environment, and a lot of people do so without being witches.  I have experienced a personal responsibility for every action I make in my home reflects my belief system.  Am I walking the walk?  This brings me to awareness.  Awareness in the most mundane things.  Here is a silly example, when I open a can of dog food, I recycle that can.  I hate washing out that can.  I'm not going to throw it out without washing it because it will attract flies.  I have often debated just throwing it in the garbage.  That is my lazy self talking.  Then all of a sudden I'm picturing that can (my can) languishing in a landfill inside of a plastic garbage for the next 100 years or more.  I can't do it!  I wash out the stupid can and recycle it.  It may sound silly, but that's what I think about.  Every time I throw out food and don't compost it I feel like I'm not appreciating what Mother Earth has given me.  How can I approach her everyday knowing that I have spit in her face and not respected her creation?  I'm not saying I'm the most evnviornmentally correct person out there, I screw up.  Yet she answers me when I need her, the loving mother listens to my requests and lends her energy to magickal works.  Yes, these are the thoughts that run through my brain.

All these things have been taught to me by the books I've read and the time I've taken to look within, but does this make me a Witch?  I'll be posting more on this topic, there is more to write but I've run out of words for now.  Blessed Be.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Beautiful Monday!

So nice to see the Sun!  So nice to see you too!  We had horrible weather up here this past weekend.  Flooding in New Jersey.  The highway right by my house was closed on Saturday night.  The rain put a bit of a damper on full moon ritual, but we still got together and worked a little somethin' somethin'.  Nice to get together with like-minded folk.

Well my mind is running in 17 different directions this morning.  Feel the need to get crafty.  Can't share it yet in case I totally bomb at what I'm thinking of doing. If it turns out nicely you will see pics!  So with my 40% Michael's coupon in my hot little hands I will venture forth to craft heaven (although AC Moore had more stuff).  I am so fighting to urge to go to Union City, I think I need a Botanica fix!

Rereading my witchy books.  You never realize how many books you have until you can't afford to buy anymore! LOL!  I'm also taking advantage of the local library.  I actually almost bought Blogging for Dummies!  $26.00 are they kidding me?  I requested it at the library.  $26.00 to be called a dummy, why pay for that when I can get insulted for free!

Working on list of books that I'm rereading and offering up my  humble opinion.  I know, I know, opinions are like....never mind this is a G rated blog!

Still figuring out this blogging stuff.  I added a little widget at the bottom of the page in case you need help rhyming!  Is that cool or what?  I figure it would come in handy when working on a spell?

I'm kind of curious to know how other witchy folk celebrate the full moon?  What did you do this past weekend or are you doing something this evening?  

Friday, April 15, 2011

Have a great weekend!

Well, its Friday, for me this means clean the house, which I didn't!  Ghost Adventures tonight which I won't miss.  Clean house tomorrow before full moon ritual.  Now that I am looking forward to!  Catch you on Monday.

To Cast or not To Cast

I have a dilemma.  When it comes to casting circles, I love them, but don't love the time for the set up.  I've discussed this with friends and they are quite comfortable casting a quick spell and moving on.  I'm not an expert so I want to do what is best.  I find that my spells work much better in a circle, but really don't want to depend on the circle when I want to do a quick spell.  Other magickal systems don't cast spells.  Kitchen witches, hedge witches etc. don't always cast spells.  Would a white light of protection do as well.  What about all that energy that is raised during a spell?  What I do love about a cast circle is the energy you feel at the perimeter of the cast circle and calling quarters.  Whatever I do in the circle seems so reverant.  So please offer up your opinion, advice and or experiences.  Share your knowledge.  Blessed Be.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Finally! Picadillo (Cuban Ground Beef)


Good morning fellow wictches! Here is my picadillo recipe.  I had a bunch of really good pictures, but let's say I have issues with my picture taking and downloading skills.  So you will have to use your imagination for some of this, but since I'm sure you have all cooked at some point in your lives you don't need to have pictures of onions and garlic and such.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs of ground beef (I purchase whatever is on sale)
3 cloves of garlic (minced),
1 medium onion diced
1 small green pepper (diced)
1 small can of tomato sauce.
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. cumin powder
1 tsp. Complete Seasoning (Badia brand) this is found in the latin section of your food market
 if you can't find that use Adobo.  Adobo has a more salt though.
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.
Green olives
1 Bay leaf
Salt to taste
You don't have to dice everything if you don't want to, I just throw everything into a chopper and let it become mush.  Kids can't pick out stuff they don't like if they can't see it! 
Saute oinions, garlic, green peppers in olive oil over medium high heat.
Add your ground beef and brown, towards the end of browning add your oregano, cumin, salt, and Complete Seasoning or Adobo.  Once beef is browned add your tomato sauce, olives and bay leaf.  Stir and cover, cook for 30 minutes over low heat.  It should look like this.  Taste, and add whatever seasonings you want more of.  Addint more of the seasonings will not hurt it, just go easy on the salt.  Now don't freak out about the grease and oil in the pan.  I strain the sauce out and let cool.



Here is all the sauce and fat that was in the beef.  Fat has flavor but you really don't need all that gunk clogging your arteries, let chocolate cake do that for you.  I get a good deal on the beef, lots of flavor and I remove a lot of the fat.  Its a win win situation.
 This is the sauce and fat in the fridge hanging out being the star of the show.  I'm too sexy for this refrigerator (does anybody remember Right Said Fred?)  Again I digress, next.....
 This is when its finally done and I remove the fat from the top of the sauce.  I add the defatted (is that a word?) sauce to my cooked picadillo and reheat.
  Serve over white rice and Ta-DAAAAAAA!
It was really yummy!  Now if you double your beef increase your seasonings because this meal freezes beautifully.  Cook once eat twice.  Less effort, less electricity.

You can use this dish for tacos, just remove the olives and stuff beef into the taco or maybe a burrito, add your salsa and cheese whatever you like.  You didn't have to buy the seasoning packet with all that junk in it.  You can also serve this over spaghetti and pour your favorite sauce on top!  Ah...Cuban style spaghetti!  Oh and remember to remove the bay leaf!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Update on Recipe

Good morning ya'll.  I'm practicing my southern accent, I will be moving down south at the end of the summer!  Can anyone say "almost year round gardening!"   I digress...I promised you a recipe for picadillo (ground beef).  I made it yesterday, but we didn't eat it, so don't have the nice final picture of the ground beef served over the white rice.  We will eat this tonight then I'll post the pics.  Had an interesting time with my camera taking the pictures.  I use my little Sanyo which is handy and easy.  So here I am in the kitchen taking pictures of ingredients, garlic and onions sizzling in the skillet, then all of a sudden I get a memory full message!  Oh my, well what I actually said was "crap!"  Then I figured I'd use the more complicated camera and took my pictures.  I start to download my pictures from the fancy camera and I couldn't get the memory card in the slot in the computer.  Turns out I had left the other memory card in the computer from earlier in the day!  That's why my camera was telling me memory full, it didn't  have a memory card in the camera!  This is typical of me.  Is this typical of you?  I mean as women we are alway multi-tasking.  Between cooking, taking care of animals, housework and surfing the net what's a girl to do?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Thank you

Hey thank you new followers!  I thought I was all alone out here!  Stay tuned for tomorrow.  I'm making Cuban Picadillo (ground beef).  I'll post the recipe and pics tomorrow!  Have a great day!  Blessed Be!

Candlemaking at Home

Doubles Boiler $6.95 + candlemaking kit (don't ask how much)
 As promised, yesterday I attempted to make my own candles.  Now all you witchy folk out there that are used to doing this won't be impressed, but since I am new to this I thought this was going to be a pain in the you know what.  It wasn't!  I purchased a double boiler at the Junkologist (thrift shop) and a candle making kit from Michaels.  I purchased the kit to give me some help and then if I really enjoy making my candles I can move on from here.
Supplies contained in kit
The kit came with some decent supplies: Dye, wax, thermometer, molds, wicks and fragrance (which I didn't use), I used my own essential oils.
1/4 of wax block
 Since I didn't want to make a ton of candles, I just eyeballed it.  I used a quarter of the wax from one of the blocks of wax provided.
13 minutes to melt time!
 It took approximately 13 minutes for the wax to melt (interesting number).  Pretty easy so far.  I followed instructions, which helps a lot.  I usually don't follow instructions but I kind of did.  Except for the part of using their fragrance which came in a block form, I used my oils.  Bergamot, lavendar and sweet orange.
Shavings of blue and yellow dye
 Had to run to the computer to figure out how to make the color green.  I know, I should know this, but honestly I can't remember where my glasses are most of the time.  The computer is a magickal friend!  Blue + Yellow = Green.  I wanted green becaused I decided to make prosperity candles.

A lovely green color
  Here is the green wax, bubbling away.  I must get a witchy hat, next time I make my candles I have to wear it!

Add caption
  After the wax temperature is between 185 and 200 degrees I poured out the wax into the molds.  Don't forget the newspaper to protect your work surface, I almost did, and after I splashed some wax around I was very happy for the newspaper.
 These are my little dogs wondering what the heck Mami was up to in the kitchen that didn't involve cooking.
 Five minutes after pouring the wax into the molds, I added the wicks.
 Fifteen minutes after I added the wicks, I inserted a pencil on either side of the wicks to let pockets of air out.  I did this according to the instructions.  They do come in handy.










Again, according to instructions, I added more melted wax to the top of the mold.













Here are my candles!  I waited 2 hours then pulled them free of the molds.  Not perfect but I'm impressed with myself.
Here is one of my candles on my altar.  I charged them this morning and did a spell.  I'll let you know if I hit the lottery!

Would I do this again?  Yes indeed I would!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

B-Witching Life

Welcome fellow Wanna-B-Witches!  I hope you will enjoy my search for the perfect fit of witchyness!  Along the way I will be posting thoughts, remarks, recipes, pictures, book reviews, spells etc.  You will come to see that I pretty much give anything a try.  This is my first blog, I am not a writer (duh), so be kind!

This week I will attempt to make my own candles.  Why?  Because I always think that I can make things better than store bought!  Cocky huh?  I am often wrong, but what the heck it makes life messy but interesting.  As soon as I can figure out to get cool pictures on the blog you'll get some.