Diva Tasting:

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Diva Tasting: Glazed Holiday Ham….

Glazed Baked Ham


  • 1 Cup Apple Cider
  • 6 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
  • 1 (8 Pound) Bone-In Smoked Ham


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Whisk Apple Cider, brown sugar, and Dijon mustard together in a bowl.
  3. Place ham cut side up in a large roasting pan; pour mixture over ham.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until ham begins to brown, about 15 minutes, basting 4 to 5 times.
  5. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Cover roasting pan with lid or aluminum foil.
  6. Continue to bake until ham is heated through, about 90 minutes more, basting frequently.
  7. Remove lid and bake until ham is well browned, about 15 minutes more. Allow ham to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving.
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Diva Rambling: Literally …On Holiday this week…

The Crones will only post recipes for the next couple of days….We wish each of our Divas: love, light and joyful holiday celebrations around the world….!!

Namaste, The Queen Cronista.

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Diva Musing: Giving….

Tis the season!  I just wanted to remind us that giving comes in many forms and many ways.  I encourage each of you to find some to give something to…even if only an uplifting word.  You will be amazed how your world will sparkle immediately.  Someone out there needs something you have to offer.  Give and expect nothing in return.  The joy and reward is in the giving.

Namaste, The Queen Cronista

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Diva Tasting:

Stuffed Chicken Milano
  • 4 Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breast Halves
  • 4 Slices Of Prosciutto
  • 1 Cup Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Herb de Provence Or Tuscan Spice
  • 4 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 (6 Ounce) Jar Roasted Red Bell Peppers, Drained & Chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Chives
  • 6 Tablespoons Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • Salt And Pepper To Taste
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter Melted
  • 1 Lemon Juiced
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Slice a chicken breast in half lengthwise, leaving the halves attached on one side: opened and laid flat, the chicken breast should resemble a butterfly. Place between two sheets of plastic wrap, and pound flat. Repeat with remaining chicken breasts.
  2. Combine Ricotta, Parmesan cheese with Herbs de Provence seasoning, chives, and Chopped Red Pepper; mix well. Spread dollop over chicken breasts. Top with 1 tablespoon shredded cheese and 1 slice of prosciutto. Roll each breast up, starting on the side. Insert a toothpick in each roll to prevent unrolling. Place in prepared baking dish. Season chicken rolls with salt and pepper to taste, Emulsify the olive oil, lemon juice and melted butter in a small bowl. Drizzle over the chicken.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Set oven to broil, and continue cooking for 5 -7 minutes. Remove from oven, slice to display the colorful filling, and serve.
  4. Serve with Sauteed´ Asparagus, Mediterranean Salad and Garlic Bread
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Diva Musing:

We were blessed to have an amazing writer and poet lecture to our classes yesterday and I was both pleased and surprised to see as many students volunteer to attend as we had.  From eighth graders to seniors they were polite and attentive.  It also shocked me to see how many youngsters do not have a concept or interest in good writing skills and literature (the fine arts in general).  I think we all learned a lot.  
Our youth seem to be structured to only have an interest in the all knowing, all seeing internet.  Yeah, that cultural vacuum is their god of knowledge!  Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the wealth of information now available to us at the touch of a few buttons.  My Masters thesis was much easier because I could research from anywhere.  However, I also discern that it is not the be all, end all of knowledge.  It is frightening how many of our youth are mesmerized with the world wide web as their vision of the world.  
Parents please encourage them to read a book, take a nature walk in the wood, hold a media free discussion group, and even bake home made cookies and hot cocoa to go with it.  Let’s get our children back to the basics.  A good balance of media and real world thinking and education will keep our future safe and much more interesting.  

Namaste, The Queen Cronista….

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Diva Tasting: Complete Thanksgiving Menu….

  • 1 (18 pound) whole turkey, neck and giblets removed
  • 2 cups kosher salt
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 2 large onions, peeled and chopped
  • 6 Clove of Garlic
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup dry white cooking wine
  1. Rub the turkey inside and out with the kosher salt. Place the bird in a large stock pot, and cover with cold water. Place in the refrigerator, and allow the turkey to soak in the salt and water mixture 12 hours, or overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Thoroughly rinse the turkey, and discard the brine mixture.
  3. Brush the turkey with 1/2 the melted butter. Place breast side down on a roasting rack in a shallow roasting pan. Stuff the turkey cavity with 1 onions, garlic, 1/2 the carrots, 1/2 the celery, 1 sprig of thyme, and the bay leaf. Scatter the remaining vegetables and thyme around the bottom of the roasting pan, and cover with the white cooking wine.
  4. Roast uncovered 3 1/2 to 4 hours in the preheated oven, until the internal temperature of the thigh reaches 180 degrees F. Carefully turn the turkey breast side up about 2/3 through the roasting time, and brush with the remaining butter. Allow the bird to stand about 30 minutes before carving.
  5. Strain the pan juices for gravy and discard the vegetables from the bird and juices.
Turkey Marsala Gravy
  • 2 Teaspoons Vegetable Oil
  • 3 Turkey Necks
  • 1 Onion, Chopped
  • 1 Stalk Celery, Chopped
  • 1 Carrot, Chopped
  • 1/3 Cup Marsala Wine
  • 2 Quarts Cold Water
  • 1/2 Pkg Cremini Mushrooms
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1/4 Cup Butter
  • 1/2 Pkg Cremini Mushrooms
  • 3 Tablespoons Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons Heavy Cream
  • Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper To Taste
  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Place turkey necks in the Dutch oven and cook until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in onion, celery, and carrot; cook and stir until onion is soft and slightly brown, about 5 minutes.
  2. Pour Marsala wine over turkey necks; increase heat to high and bring to a boil while scraping the browned bits off of the bottom of the pan. Simmer until wine is reduced by half, 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Stir in water, 1/2 pkg mushrooms, garlic, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil then decrease heat to low; simmer, skimming any foam or fat that rises to the top. Cover the Dutch oven almost completely; simmer until meat is falling off the bones, 4 to 5 hours. Strain turkey stock carefully into a clean container and cool completely, about 2 hours.
  4. Place 1/2 pkg mushrooms diced in a bowl;
  5. Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add diced mushrooms; cook and stir until browned, about 5 minutes.
  6. Stir flour into mushrooms and butter; cook and stir until flour is no longer gritty, about 3 minutes.
  7. Whisk in turkey stock, increase heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is 1/3 reduced and thick, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in cream, season with salt and pepper to taste.
Holiday Stuffing
1 (7.5 Ounce) Package Dry Cornbread Mix
2 Pkg Of Cremini Mushrooms Sliced
1 Cup Salted Butter
2 Med. White Onions, Chopped
4 Stalks Celery, Chopped
2 Bags Of Herb Dressing
1/8 Teaspoon Nutmeg
2 Teaspoons Dried Sage
1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
1 Teaspoon Poultry Seasoning
1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1/2 Cup Chopped Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley
2 Eggs Beaten
6 Cups Chicken Stock
Prepare corn bread as directed on package. Cool, and crumble.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook onions, mushrooms and celery in butter until tender, but not brown.
Place corn bread and bags herb dressing in a large bowl. Season with sage, thyme, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper remaining herbs and spices. Mix in chopped parsley, cooked vegetables and mushrooms. Stir in eggs and chicken stock. This mixture should be a bit mushy. Transfer to a greased 9×13 inch pan.
Bake at 325 degrees F. for 1 hour until brown on top.
  • 4 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 (10.75 ounce) cans cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 pound sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 (6 ounce) can French-fried onions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Heat a large saucepan of salted water to a boil; add green beans and cook just until slightly tender, about 5 minutes. Drain.
  3. Mix green beans and cream of mushroom soup together in a bowl; spread into an 9×13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle Cheddar cheese over green been mixture and top with French-fried onions.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until cheese is melted and browned, about 30 minutes.
  • 1 1/4 cups half n half or buttermilk
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place 10-inch cast-iron skillet in oven to warm it.
  2. Mix milk and cornmeal together in small bowl and let soak for 10 minutes.
  3. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together in a mixing bowl. Beat cornmeal mixture, eggs, and butter into the flour mixture until you have a smooth batter, about 1 minute.
  4. Remove skillet from oven. Swish vegetable oil in the skillet to coat.
  5. Pour batter into the skillet.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 18 to 23 minutes. Cut into wedges to serve.
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Diva Ranting: Scrooge…

I was out and about the other day and I hear a man railing at a clerk in a store.  He was complaining about everything.  You know, one of those people whose assets are always stuck so far up their own ass they can’t see the light of day.  Someone in dire need of an “analeyerectomy”…(the need for the surgery to remove the connection of their eyes to their assholes for a better outlook on life!!)  He stepped in front of a line of others who had been waiting awhile. 
I yelled…” Hey, Sparky, those people were in front of you and you didn’t even ask to break line.  Get back here where you belong or I’ll get the manager to close this line and we can just wait together.  It won’t be a pleasant wait!  People in the line were smiling and the clerk just looked at him.  He asked me who I thought I was.  I said…”I am the Queen of the Cosmos, patiently waiting my place in line.” “Now get back here and let the young woman to do her job.  There is no place you have to be that is  more important than these people…. And unless you can produce the memo, (that none of us got by the way), that shows it’s all about you today ….it follows, therefore, that it is NOT all about you today!
He shut up, and got behind me.  He pouted the whole time but stood there. Several folks and the clerk thanked me.  It’s not just about the holidays, it is about our need for respect to each other, all day, everyday.  I hate drama and a big scene.  However, I will not let bullies dump on people in my face.  I’m sure some crazed terrorist nutcase will call me on it someday.  Just know, that if you do, I will let you remember for the rest of your life, I was there, and I will be buried with some of your body parts.  
A Diva with a cause is a formidable thing! BULLIES BEWARE!!!
Namaste, The Queen Cronista  


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Diva Musing:

Well, Divas, Tis the Season….I thought looking at the meaning of love across culture would give us a good slant for the upcoming holidays.  Love and Light! Namaste, The Queen Cronista….
The True Meaning Of Love From A Buddhist Perspective
Have you ever truly madly fallen in love?
I did.What does it mean to fall in love, or be in love, or even stay in love?
In Buddhism, striving for that which is outside of our true nature is seen as wasteful. Arbitrarily seeking fulfillment in another is an attachment based on a craving which will always ultimately end in suffering. Perhaps in this searching one can take one step closer to finding one’s true nature, one’s true vocation, one’s true purpose.
Time is so short, the memories are fading away. Truth is a cascade of moments. Enjoy the breath, flowing in and out ceaselessly like the waves on the shore in timeless perfection. This is the only true reality.
Even if you die for your lover, is that not sacrificing something that is not yours to give?
In loving you, I love myself, but in loving myself, selfishly I neglect you.
In living for you, I forget my own needs.
When the love of your life leaves you, how can you not be left empty? But can love leave a wound and why should emptiness leave you bereft?
How can real love devastate you when real love is the absence of superficial egoic needs, the absence of falsehood, and all real love is the presence, and the present? With love, there can be emptiness, but no feeling of emptiness.
Can you actually remove love…can it ever be extinguished or forgotten?
If love is the presence, the sacred consciousness, the Divine expansiveness, is it possible to subtract from it, remove from it, and delete it from your consciousness? Is it possible to forget it? Love is an experience of being whole.
When we link it to another, we become dependent on that other for the fulfillment or satisfaction of our love fantasy. True love does not require a vehicle for its fulfillment or expression. Real love is not demanding.
Another way to look love is within the context of the first of Buddha’s noble truths: “life is dukkha.”
Dukkha is divided into:
1. Suffering
2. Change
3. Conditioned states
A brief exploration of Dukkha:
1. Suffering
Consciousness as the created form, or the potentiation of thoughts, fills the universal ether. This immediately creates an existential loneliness, which can never be entirely filled until it (the creation) is no longer separate from the formlessness of Divine consciousness. This separation is loneliness. This is the suffering part of dukkha – the separation from God.
2. Change
This world of created forms, and as yet uncreated potential is always changing. As we enter it, we change, and eventually pass through it, to the beyond. One thing is certain – the fluid of life is a changing stream.
3. Conditioned states
We are affected by everything around us. Energy created can never be destroyed; it is merely transferred or transformed to evolve into a new form. Thus everything that is affects everything else that is. The spider weaves its web, creating a living matrix of awareness.
We experience romantic love within the context of these three aspects of creation.
We suffer most when we are in fear. Sometimes the pain can seem insurmountable…we can seem alone in the vast expansive universe. Yet, at its core, suffering is an illusion.
Our fear of suffering is often far worse than the suffering itself.
To be identified with something outside of yourself, is to invite suffering. Suffering is derived from perceiving a loss.
Authentic love is whole, complete and in essence, beyond suffering. The absence of love is suffering. The illusion of loss leads to suffering. When something dies, you don’t lose it, because you never owned it. We suffer most when we are attached to the illusion. True love does not leave a wound when it is lost, because true love can never be lost.
Once created, “it” exists forever within the unity of the Divine sphere. The divine conversation of love is something beyond a mere notion or discussion; it is ALIVE, filled with the budding possibility of a butterfly about to open its wings for the first time.
Ceaselessly searching for the ultimate feeling of completion. That which is searched for exists already within.
O lovers, what are you looking for?
You already have it.
Today, don’t wish it was another day. Wish it was today. Then you will realize yourself already blessed.
This is true of love: don’t wish for something that already is within. For in the final analysis, one cannot fall in love with that which is outside of the self – one’s true nature is already love.
So falling in love is really just coming back home.
Enjoy the paradoxes. And most importantly, keep falling in love!
David G. Arenson
David is the founder of Metamorphosis Retreat. A Naturopath, Wellness Specialist, Soul-Coach, he creates personalized packages for corporate and individuals seeking wellness solutions…
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Diva Tasting: Holiday Tenderloin Menu….

Slow Beef Tenderloin
  • 1 Package Of Sliced Cremini Mushrooms
  • 1 Cup Warm Water
  • 3 Pounds Trimmed Beef Tenderloin Roast, Tied
  • Salt And Ground Black Pepper To Taste
  • 3 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Sliced Shallots
  • 1 Pinch Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Tarragon Vinegar
  • 1 Cup Beef Stock
  • 1/4 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Chopped Fresh Tarragon
  • Salt And Ground Black Pepper To Taste
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Season beef generously with salt and pepper. Heat vegetable oil in a large ovenproof skillet over high heat. Place beef in the skillet; cook until brown on all sides, 5 to 8 minutes per side.
  3. Reduce heat to medium and stir in 1 tablespoon butter, shallots, and a pinch of salt; cook until shallots are soft and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes.
  4. Pour tarragon vinegar into the skillet and bring to a boil while scraping any browned bits off of the bottom. Stir until liquid is reduced by half, 2 to 4 minutes.
  5. Pour in stock, cream, mushrooms, salt, and pepper; stir to combine. Return beef to the skillet.
  6. Roast in the preheated oven until meat is medium rare, about 45 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 130 degrees F. Transfer meat to a plate and loosely tent with foil. Set skillet over high heat and bring pan juices to a boil.
  7. Stir in 1 tablespoon butter and tarragon; season with salt and pepper to taste. Return tenderloin and any accumulated juices to skillet and serve.
Gorgonzola Stuffed Portobellos
  • 4 Portobello Mushrooms
  • 1 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Coarse Sea Salt To Taste
  • 1 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1 8 Oz Cream Cheese Softened
  • 1 Cup Crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Chives
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Dip each mushroom in olive oil and place on a parchment lined baking sheet; Season with salt. Place mushrooms in preheated oven and bake until tender. About 5 minutes
  3. Combine cream cheese, sour cream and Gorgonzola in a small bowl. Top each mushroom with a generous spoonful of the cheese mixture; garnish with chives. Place back in the oven and turn on broiler. Broil for about 2 minutes until cheese is bubbly and brown. Serve hot.
Broccoli Rice Casserole
  • 2 Cups Cheddar Cheese Shredded
  • 1 Cup Feta Crumbled
  • 1 (10.75 Ounce) Can Condensed Cream Of Mushroom Soup
  • 2 Cups Cooked Wild Rice or Long Grain White
  • 1 Lg Packages Of Cremini Mushrooms Sliced
  • 2 (10 Ounce) Package Frozen Chopped Broccoli, Thawed
  • 1 Large Onion Chopped
  • 1 Dash Hot Sauce
  • Ground Black Pepper To Taste
  • 1 (2.8 Ounce) Can French-Fried Onions
Oven to 375 Degrees
  1. Drain frozen Broccoli of liquids
  2. Cook wild rice according to package directions.
  3. In a large bowl place broccoli, rice and mushroom soup, slice mushrooms, onions, feta and cheddar cheese, hot sauce, pepper and stir to blend.
  4. Pour into a 9×13 inch greased casserole dish and bake in heated oven for 30 Minutes or until bubbly.
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