Monthly Archives: February 2016

FOOD FOR THOUGHT- Winter Greens

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Here is a glossary of greens for our cooks with a passion for freshness.  We hope it keeps our Divas in good health.

Glossary of Winter Greens

The winter chill brings a slightly sweeter taste to these greens. Hot or cold they are good year round. 

CHARD-The tender stems and glossy leaves, slightly tart chard is the go-to green for good salads. The stems can be cooked thinly sliced in soups just as you would use celery.

KALE-The new “it” green is used in everything these days. There are multiple types in the kale family…Russian Red Kale is the most tender and mild, while the curly kale has frilly ends it makes for a good salad as it holds the dressing. Heir Loom Tuscan Kale (also known as dinosaur, black, and Lacinato) is the sturdiest and best for long cooking soups or for pesto.

CHICORIES-Can be used in appetizers or tossed into salads for added twang. Belgian Endive stays pale and whit and creamy yellow because it grows in complete darkness. . Radicchio either ball shaped Chioggia or the pointed and narrow Treviso, is the lettuce all grown up with a slightly bitter edge.

COLLARDS-Related to kale, collards are members of the cabbage family that don’t form a head. The smaller leaves are most tender. These can be used raw in salads. Use larger leaves as a wrap just as you would a tortilla, make sure to cut out the tough stems.

SPINACH-As the green we know best, versatile it lends itself to everything from smoothies to sandwiches. Buy it by the bunch for the freshest options.

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Thought for the Day-Abundance

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The motivational gurus will tell us the way to the wealth of the Universe is meditation and positive thinking.  We repeat over land over the old cliches ….”Garbage in garbage out..”; And ..As a person thinketh…” so goes his/her life. Why then don’t we learn?  Why don’t we take the easy road to success, abundance, and health?  Why do we focus on sadness, chaos, and fear of deprivation?

If you went into an antique store and found the magic lamp with the genie inside what would you do.  Sit and say …this can’t possibly work, this just isn’t possible?  Your genie would respond…”Your wish is my command”….and nothing would happen.

Research suggests the subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between a “thing” we see or a “thing “we clearly imagine.  Studies with athletes have proven that conscious meditation on their respective perfect game can improve their performance tremendously.

Why then do we choose to vetch our way through the day? Why do we let our mind wander to garbage and fear in our daydream time, instead of focus on all of the riches the Universe has, and wants to give to us?  Practice and focused visualization is easy and free to everyone.  What disease causes us to do otherwise, when joy and abundance is right there (a thought away)?

Ridding our lives of a contaminated mind is easier for some than others.  However, the steps to getting there are the same for each of us.  Cleaning the dust bunnies out of your mental attic, focus, practice, then practice some more on an attitude of gratitude and the abundance and joy all around you.  The choice is always yours.

Set up a success altar at home; a small table or counter space where you can sit and focus on a candle or  incense burning while listening to meditation music or just the silence. Start with 10 minutes a day twice a day.  Build on that as time allows.  You know you waste 20 minutes a day on nonprofitable activity anyway. Make all of your moments count.

Here is praying for your success in claiming all that God has to offer in the Universe of Abundance that is there for each of us.

Namaste,

The Queen Cronista

Food for Thought….Winter Doldrums…

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Winter Doldrums…

Spring is on the way.  However, many of my Divas and Crones tell me they are having the winter doldrums this year worse than they can remember.  Join the crowd.  You are not alone.  The current full moon raging today does’t help.  Don’t feel guilty.  The forces of nature work a number on many personality types this time of year.  You and I are no exception.

But what to do? Well, right now I can’t take a nap, or hug my dogs, or even think of one “happy trigger” to get my act together.  Soooo….I am meditating more each day and clearing the dust bunnies out of my attic as often as possible.  Like all of Nature, it is a cycle we are in, at the moment.  I say moment; it may last days or a week for some.  If it last more than that consider seeking help from a professional.

Other things you can do… go to a great spa and have a spa day… if you are blessed to live where such a thing is possible. Nothing better than to sit in the steam room or sauna or both.  Get a good exfoliating facial or body scrub and visualize the toxin coming off of your face and body as preparation of your burst into the spring equinox on March 21st.  Get your bloom on now.  Otherwise take a good hot epsom salt bubble bath.  Soak and read some uplifting poems or literature.

If you are blessed with good weather already, and are fit enough to get into a safe wood or forest, do that.  Sit at the base of a large tree in your best Budda pose, close your eyes and think of all the joyful things you have to be thankful/grateful for in the world. And above all SMILE while you are doing it.  The old adage …”fake it until you make it” …applies here.  No Diva or Crone left behind.

Happy pre Spring to all….

The Queen Cronista

Hot Tip of the Day

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Breakfast Every Day- Good Thing….

Recent studies still show that eating a healthy breakfast each day is a good thing.  Research shows that those who don’t eat a good A.M. kick start have higher insulin and eat too much for lunch.

Hint freeze your smoothie for on the go treat.  Place some fruit in a ziploc to add to your greek yogurt.  A hard boiled egg and a cheese stick make a good protein snack as well.

Is It Just Me? Snow

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We are in mid-February and we’ve had about 7 days of snow and it at it again. Good days for reading, making good homemade soup (See today’s Recipe), hugging the puppies or the babies a little more and generally being grateful for the flowers all of this moisture will bring in the spring.

I personally do not like snow but Mother Nature  knows best.  It’s all about the rhythms of the Earth.  Although, is it just me, or do they truly seem to be out of sync these days?  Friends in California, Arizona and Nevada report unusual cold weather this winter.  If global warming issues are NOT a truth then what is it?  More importantly how does the Human Race think that Mother Nature will not get even with our abuse of her baby… Earth?

The trouble is those of us, who are tuned into trying to limit our carbon footprints, will suffer with the greedy, power hungry, egos that created the problems.  Karma will be a bear for them but we have to suffer the cause and effect of their bad Karma in the meantime.  Maybe the Universe will let us stick around long enough to see it reap its wrath on these ego maniacal princes of industry and politics. Until then I’m enjoying Natures Gifts and praying for global healing.

Namaste,

The Queen Cronista

Recipe of the Day-Asian Ginger Chicken Soup

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Asian Ginger Soup

Ingredients

35 m                           6 servings

  • 
2 Tbs.           Sesame oil
  • 
1 pound       Boneless chicken; cut into 1-inch pieces
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1 (2 inch)    Piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 
4 Cloves      Garlic, thinly minced
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1/2 Cups      Rice wine vinegar or white vinegar
  • 
2 Quart        Reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 
1 ½Cups     Water
  • ½ Cup         Cilantro chopped Or Flat Leaf Parsley Chopped
  • 
2 Tbs.           Reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 
1 tsp.            Asian red chili sauce, such as sriracha, or to taste
  • 1                    Bunch Fresh Basil
  • 
1 Lg.             Bag or Bunch spinach or chard, stemmed and chopped*
  • 
 * You can use 2 cups frozen chopped spinach instead of one bunch fresh.

Directions

Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until just cooked through, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate with tongs.

Add ginger and garlic to the pot and cook until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add vinegar and cook until mostly evaporated, scraping up any browned bits, 1 1/2 to 3 minutes. Add broth and water, increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Add soy sauce, chili sauce and greens (or chard), cilantro and cook until the greens are tender, about 3 minutes.

Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pot and cook until heated through, simmer 1 hour on medium low heat. Serve in Large bowl with Asian noodles* Garnish with torn Basil Leaves

*Optional: 1 bunch of bean thread (cellophane noodles) soaked per bowl.

Recipe of the Day- Spinach Feta Tart

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400 * Preheat

Spinach and Feta Tart

Caramelizing lemons in a skillet for this recipe gives it extra flavor.

2 Lg Bag                      Frozen Chopped Spinach (or 1 Lb. Fresh Chopped)

6                                   Green Onions Diced

1 Lg                              Lavosh or 1/2 of a Frozen Puff Pastry Sheets

4 Tbsp.                         Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Lg                              Lemon

2 Med                           Eggs

1 Cup                            Asiago Cheese Grated

1/8 Tsp.                        Grated Nutmeg

6 Oz                             Feta Cheese Crumbled

Sautéed Lemons:  In a large skillet season thinly sliced lemon with salt and pepper. In a large skillet heat 1 Tbsp. oil over medium heat.  Cook approximately 5 minutes until brown.  Set aside to cool.

Sauté green onions in 1 Tbsp. oil until tender.  Drop in chopped spinach to wilt.  Note if using frozen spinach make sure it has thawed in a colander and you have pressed out all moisture before adding to the skillet.  Set aside to cool.

Line the baking sheet with parchment.  Place one large sheet of Lavosh or rolled out puff pastry to a 9″ X 13″ sheet on to baking sheet.  If using pastry…Press Pastry with fork all around the edge.  Chill 15 minutes.

In a medium bowl Zest one lemon and whisk with 1 tsp. zest, eggs, 1/2 tsp. Himalayan Pink or Kosher Salt,  1/4 tsp. Cracked Black Pepper and nutmeg.  Fold in Spinach and Feta, Asiago mixture. Spread over the Lavosh or pastry. Bake until pastry is baked, and filling is set; about 30 minutes for the Pastry.  Judge Lavosh by brownness at about 15 minutes.

Cut into 6 serving pieces, top with sautéed lemons. Serve with additional spinach salad with feta and lemon vinaigrette.

Note for the Day…Home Invasion

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I just moved….So ladies, after my second home invasion in one week, I am suggesting that each of you, especially if you are alone, get a taser near you in the house at all times.  Keep the local police in speed dial. Fortunately, neither of my crazies were armed, just drug crazed and out of control.  I was able to shout each away with some salty old broad language and that pointy finger grandmothers use.   I’m not saying by any stretch it wasn’t harrowing.  However, I was blessed by the Universe to be fearless enough to handle it.  Let’s hope the third time is charm as well…Heaven forbid!!!

My point in all of this is, that in this chaotic world we now live in, no one is safe.  Statically what are the odds of 2 crazies picking me out of the morass to invade?  Yet, here it was in one week.  Do not take for granted today.  Tomorrow may not exist.  Be grateful that we are as protected as we are, and give thanks to Heaven for it.

I am 60 plus decades old and I know I was blessed to be this salty for so long. It pays to be  fearless but not stupid.  Get some form of protection and be aware of your surroundings….at home, in parking lots, in stores and when jogging.  My nephew is getting me brass knuckles with an appropriate crown carved in it.  I am anti-violence but not stupid.  I will protect myself and the ones I love.  One thing I learned in Girl Scouts many years ago was…”be prepared”!  I suggest you hold those wise words as your truth.

Love, Light and Protection to all of our Divas today and everyday.

Namaste,

The Queen Cronista

 

FOOD FOR THOUGHTS

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We know for certain we become what we think about all day long.  Does it not stand to follow, that our mind (the software of our soul), should be fed with the same care that we feed our physical form …to maintain maximum health?

Well, your only answer must be, yes.  Reality is nothing more than the illusion dreaded by each individual mind based upon how it chooses to perceive any given input.  Change the perception change the reality.

So simple, yet so hard.  Like any computer we are told garbage in garbage out.  Start practicing never completing a negative thought.  When you find yourself wallowing in the bog of eternal stench of negative thoughts and self-pity…STOP… REBOOT…create the new outcome you would desire.  Immediately the Universe begins to honor that request.  Like the genie in the preverbal bottle your wish is its’ command.  You are the captain of your ship, the programmer/developer of all of your own software.  You do not have the privilege of passing it off on anyone else.

God’s infinite Universe always responds to our choices, and sends consequence based on those choices.  My prayer for each of you today is that you feed yourself well; both physically and mentally.  Be kind to yourself and other.  Your response to a situation could be the good food someone else needs to stay on track today.  Feed yourself, feed the Universe well…we are all connected.  Breathe in LOVE, breathe out everything else.

Namaste,

The Queen Cronista

 

Recipe of the Day-Garlic Lime Chicken

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1 tsp                         Salt

1/2 tsp                     Black Pepper

1/4 tsp                     Cayenne Pepper

1/4 tsp                     Paprika

1/4 tsp                     Dried Thyme

1/4 tsp                     Dried Parsley

1 tsp                        Garlic Powder

1/2 tsp                     Onion Powder

4 Lg                        Chicken Breasts (bone in with Skin)/May use boneless skinless if you

Mix the dry rub above thoroughly in a small bowl.

Add 2 Tbs butter,

2 Tbs Olive Oil,

Juice of 3 limes; + one for garnish

Rub the chicken thoroughly with dry mix and place skin side down in skillet with the  preheated butter, olive oil on medium heat.  Cook for about 6 minutes or until the skin is golden brown.  Turn and cook an additional 6 minutes.  Baste with the juice of the 3 limes and cook an additional 4 minutes.  Baste with any sauce in pan as you continue to cook.  Serve with a lime wedge garnish, garlic mash cauliflower and spring greens salad with lime vinaigrette dressing.