Monthly Archives: May 2016

Crone A Rambling-Summer

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Summer

As I sit here in my office looking out of the 6 foot window onto my world,  I hear the hum of the mowers, the passing traffic and birds.  All of nature is resonating as it should on this day of puffy clouds and blue sky.

I noted this morning while having breakfast with one of the wonderful grandmothers who often graces me with her presence and knowledge. I opined that all of nature vibrates in complete perfection with the will of the Source of All things.  Man interferes but nature corrects as needs.

However, I wonder if we have strayed so far from the respect Mother Nature was given by the ancients, that she is about to rise up in retaliation against human greed and excess? Who could blame her?  I struggle to keep my own carbon footprint at a minimum.  Yet I do not feel like I do the Cosmos justice.  Multiply my lame efforts, by billions who do not care at all, and you have one nasty snag in the cord of human existence that binds us all.   I know that one person can make a difference.  However, what effort can I make to get the Earth Mother the respect she deserves from others?

All I can do is my best, and hope it will mirror good vibration to others to do the same everywhere. We need to revive the respect for nature practiced by the Native Americans, Druids, and other ancients who knew how we were truly blessed by the Earth Mother and her unflinching cycles.  Meditate on that and help me bring up that vibration once more.

Namaste,

The Queen Cronista

Today’s Recipe-Vegetable Hash & Eggs

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Vegetable Hash and Eggs

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 Med Onion Thin Sliced

1 Tbsp Chopped Fresh Thyme

4 Lg Garlic Cloves Minced

2 ½ Cups Peeled Sweet Potatoes Cubed

2 ½ Cups Fingerling Potatoes Cut in Half

¼ Cup Water

2 Cups Swiss Chard Chopped and packed

3 Cups Spinach packed

½ Tsp Kosher Salt

½ Tsp Ground Black Pepper

1 Tbsp White Vinegar

4 Lg Eggs

3 Tbsp Butter (if poaching or frying eggs)

2 Tsp Hot Sauce (optional)

Heat Large Non Stick skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and swirl to coat. Add onion, cook until browned. Add thyme, garlic stirring continually; cook 1 minute. Add potatoes and ¼ cup of water. Cover and cook for 15 minutes until potatoes are tender. Stir every 5 minutes. Stir in Greens, salt and pepper. Continue cooking covered until greens wilt. Lower heat to keep warm.

Eggs may be served over easy or poached. To poach… put the vinegar in a large skillet filled 2/3 full with water and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer. Place each egg in a buttered ramekin place ramekins in the boiling water, cover and poach for about 3 minutes. Remove ramekins from water let set for a few seconds. Gently remove from ramekins with a slotted spoon. Serve about 1 ¼ cups of hash on each plate and place egg on top. Drizzle each egg with ½ tsp of hot sauce, if desired.

Variation: you may place the butter in a large non-stick skillet and fry each egg turning once. Place one egg on top of vegetable hash as noted above.

Is It Just Me? Road Manners

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Road Manners

Often I rant on about how good manners have been lost in our Western society.  Modern youth know nothing of the days of Emily Post and Ann Lander’s tips on etiquette. In a time when such things were the rule of the day, we even had good road manners.

Today I was sitting at a local 4-way stop and I let the first cars go. I sat waiting for the car to my left to go as she had beat me to the stop.  She was yacking on her phone, chomping gum like a hooker at a convention, and rolling but not going through the stop.  I tried to be considerate and give her brain dead ass the right of way.  I did not feel comfortable pulling out with a person so NOT” into driving, or rules of the road.

When my father was loosing his mind teaching his first teenager to drive (me), he always admonished me to remember that every yeahoo on the road, would do the dumbest things I could not even imagine.  He cautioned that I drive defensively at all times. Yet he reminded me …with courtesy …because,  it is every drivers charge, to see that each person on the road, arrives safely at their destination.  When I had company cars on my job, we took annual defensive driving schools for driver safety.    They also taught that same wisdom…. it is every drivers charge, to see that each person on the road, arrives safely at their destination.

Long gone are those days.  Yet, there are a few of us who were raised with this philosophy, who try to make a decent attempt to maintain some of that charge even today  (not always; we are human)!

My wisdom for the day is to remember what my father told me and what all defensive driving schools teach … it is every drivers charge, to see that each person on the road. arrives safely at their destination…

Namaste,

The Queen Cronista

Diva Recipe of the Day-Moussaka Medley

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Our Diva Version of a Mediterranean Favorite.

MOUSSAKA MEDLEY

Oven 375 ° Serves 6 Total Appx. 1 hr 50 min 9”X 13” Pan

2 Lg Egg Plants (Appx 2 ½ lb) cut ½ inch slices

3 Pkgs Cremini Mushrooms

3 Cups Parmesan Cheese

½ Cup Rice Wine Vinegar

2 Tbsp Soy

2 Cups Plain Greek Yogurt

½ Cup Sour Cream

1 Brick Feta Cheese Crumbled

3 Lg Eggs

3 Tbsp EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

2 Cups Finely Chopped Onion

8 Cloves Garlic

1 Cup Water

½ Cup Uncooked Quinoa

2 Tbsp Tomato Paste

½ tsp Sea Salt

½ tsp Ground Black Pepper

1 (28 oz can) Diced Tomatoes

3 Tbsp Chopped Fresh Basil

2 Tbsp Chopped Fresh Dill

First Roast the Eggplant by placing on sprayed parchment in a 375° oven; spray both sides with cooking oil. Roast for 30 minutes.

While Egg plant is roasting, heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add oil and swirl to coat. Add onion and sweat for about 8 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute. Then add the water, quinoa, tomato paste, salt pepper, and tomatoes. Bring to a simmering boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 25 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in basil.

In another medium saucepan add additional EVOO and swirl to coat. Add mushrooms and cook for 10 minutes. Add rice wine vinegar, soy and simmer 4 minutes. Remove from heat and fold in dill.

Whisk eggs and place in a medium bowl. Add yogurt, feta, sour cream and whisk again until combined and smooth.

In a 9”X 13” Pan sprayed with cooking oil spread ½ the tomato sauce on the bottom. Arrange ½ the egg plant over the sauce. Spread the mushroom mixture over the eggplant; sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese. Layer again until all is used up. Top with yogurt mixture and sprinkle with remaining cheese.     Bake at 375° for 45 Minutes.

Variation: Add 2 Cups of chopped chicken to the mushrooms before spreading.

Is It Just Me? Stop and Hug the Good Ones

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Stop and Hug the Good Ones

Sadly I must speak metaphorically on this issue.  In this world of chaos and confusion there are so many good souls, and furry babies on this Earth Plane that should be giving angel hugs all day.  Sadly if you attempt any such gesture these days you are likely to be sued for harassment, assault, or weirdness.

However, I have a method I use for people I like.  I throw the proverbial Hollywood Kiss and say “LoveUmeanit!”  I find this seems to be an accepted method of public hug (so to speak) that one can get away with these days.  That way you are always able remind those you love/like that have their backs daily as well as an acceptable PDA (Public Display of Affection).

It’s what we’ve come to in our world! However, there are those of us who remain undaunted and refuse to harden our hearts for others viewing pleasure. So go on…Smell the Flowers, Pay it Forward and always find a way to Hug the Good Ones in your life…no matter what.  Create your own signature PDA and give it freely.

Namaste,

The Queen Cronista

Today’s Recipe- Chicken & Onion Orzo Soup

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SPRING CHICKEN & ONION ORZO SOUP

Large Soup Pot; Serves 8-10

¼ Cup Butter

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 Med Sweet Onion Slices

1 Lg Leek, Thinly Sliced

1 Bunch Green Onion, Thinly Sliced

2 Cups chopped roasted chicken

2 Cups Snow Peas Chopped

4 Cups Chicken Broth

4 Cups Chicken Stock

2 Cups Water

1 ½ Cups Orzo Pasta

1 Tsp Sea Salt

1 Lg Lemon, Juiced and Zested

2 Cups Basil Leaves, Torn

Sour Cream optional; Fontina Toast Optional;

In a large soup pot on medium heat melt butter and add onions, leeks and cook until translucent (Appx 15 min). Add Snow Peas, chicken broth/stock, water, pasta and salt. Bring to a rolling boil and reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Add lemon zest, lemon juice and basil.

Serve with lemon sour cream and fontina toast. You may also toss in bean sprouts, and cilantro if desired.

Is It Just Me? Service Owed for Money Paid

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Service Owed for Money Paid….

I’ve mentioned before that I eat breakfast at a place each morning and there is always an a retired military person who sits in her designated seat, at her designated table and eats her same meal each day.  She is a good customer who always shops at the chain’s retail store in the entrance.  She is demanding, loud  and gruff (senior hearing impaired issues). She is country as all get out, but a good, caring person at heart.

The new young superstar trainee hostess on the morning shift has developed attitude with her and refuses to fulfill simple requests.  Bear in mind that at 6-7 AM morning shift may only have we 2 customers in the entire 100 table establishment.  Why then do they feel the need to stick very rudely to some corporate rule that pisses off customers who spend no less than a $1,000.00 a month during breakfast shift alone?  This lady eats out every meal and most of it at this establishment.  She buys gifts daily and expects respect and service for the money she is dumping in this establishment.

Several days a week we have a guest join us and that guest also spends money at this chain store and expects a certain service for money spent.  The morning management often comes in as much as 2 hours late leaving guests and staff standing at a locked door. He then arrives without so much as an apology.  He does has had a 100% turnover in cooking staff in 2 months… and he does not reprimand the rude, hostess superstar, for her behavior ….and so the story goes daily.  The wait staff is appalled at these behaviors and tries to make up with good service.  Today the retired military Sargent stated she is fed up and is going to start to look elsewhere to spend her money.  I agreed.

Is it just me?  Or is it wrong to expect some form of manners and respect to the customers who spend a lot of money helping make ones paycheck possible?  Our American executives are so focused on the bottom line and tasks check lists for employees that they are now 3 generations into thoughtless, rude, customer care personnel that they have no hope of salvation.  I mean think about it people…if two customers who spend a minimum of $12,000.00 each a year at your establishment decide to go else where, how long can you survive?  This is not just for me and Sarge. It is a call for justice and good manners to every person who spends hard earned money in a retail business.

Today’s Recipe-Pulled Pork BBQ- Slow Cooker

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Pulled Pork BBQ- Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker on Low Cook Time 8 hours Serves 8

1 (5 lb ) Pork Butt Roast

Salt/Pepper To Taste

4 Lg Cloves of Garlic Minced

1 (14 oz) Can Beef Broth

½ Cup Ketchup

½ Cup Instant Espresso brewed

2 Tbsp Liquid Smoke

Line the slow cooker with an oven bag for easy clean up. Cut the roast in half and rub both sides generously with salt and pepper. In a medium bowl add garlic, pour broth, espresso, liquid smoke and ketchup and whisk…pour over meat in the bag. Seal the bag and vent. Cook in slow cooker for 8 hours until fork tender.

Carefully remove the meat to cutting board when done. Pull the meat off the bone with a fork and chop if desired. Serve on Multigrain bun with slaw. Place your favorite BBQ sauce in a small serving bowl with a spoon for drizzling if desired.

Today’s Thought…Irritations!!!

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Irritations!!!

I am one of those folks who believe that the first hour is the rudder of the day.  What you think about all day long is what you become.  Yudda, Yudda….So today I began by relaxing into my day by listening to alpha wave meditation music, saying my prayer for the day, hugging the pups and telling them I thank God for them everyday.

Then I go to my  regular breakfast establishment and I’m met by a sulking hostess who makes me seat myself and hangs while reading a text message.  She has seated someone at the table I usually sit at to keep the sun out of my eyes.  There is usually me and one other senior citizen there everyday.  So why with a hundred other tables does she pick that one to fill?  Irritation begins to build.  My wonderful wait staff handles things with an apology and the usual good service.  Then the eggs arrive overcooked and toast floppy.  New cook refuses to give the wait staff what the order states.  Their frustration builds.

Then little Miss… I’m a Superstar Hostess in training, seats a table of 8 next to the only 2 customers in the place and refuses to ask the management to turn down the loud music.  This prevents us from hearing the other newly arrived guest at our table. The party of eight, seemingly feeding what is a rowdy hangover, escalates their conversation by about 5 decibels.  Your waitress can’t refresh your coffee for the demands of the demon possessed table of 8 and everyone’s frustration escalates.

Are you recognizing any of this yet?  Anyway you eat quickly to get out of the bad ju-ju and to a calmer more appealing environment.  You’ve made a choice. “Keep Calm and Carry On”  as the poster goes.  It’s always about our choice and no one else. We can stay and glare at the idiots. We can snap and complain to the waitress already stressed to the max. We can also call the manager report the hostess and cook who have made you pay good money to be treated like used bait.  But now you have chosen to fall into the abyss with the rest of the misery around you, and poison your soul and the lovely day you started at home.

Don’t get me wrong.  I have a temper like a saber tooth tiger and go dark way more often than I should.  But the point is,  I’m trying to make better choices on the “light” side more often now.  I just feel better when I do.  I always end up asking myself …if it won’t matter a 100 years from now… why bother to choose darkness in my day?  I’ve discovered there is no good answer for that choice.  I’m human; it will happen…but I am getting better every day at right choices!

Namaste My Diva-kind,

The Queen Cronista

Recipe Today-Roasted Salmon with Herbed Yogurt

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Roasted Salmon with Herbed Yogurt

Oven 325° 25 Min Prep 25 Min Roast Serves 8

2 ½ lb Wild Salmon Fillet (salt and pepper to taste)

1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

2 tsp Dried Oregano, Crushed

1 Med Lemon Zest (set aside) and Juiced

1 Cup Greek Yogurt Plain

½ Lg English cucumber, finely chopped

3 Tbsp Minced Shallots

2 Tbsp Flat Leaf Parsley Chopped

2 Tbsp Chopped Fresh Dill weed

2 Tbsp Chopped Fresh Basil

½ Tsp Sea Salt

½ Tsp Cracked Black Pepper & Dash Crushed Red Pepper

Line a shallow baking pan with parchment lightly sprayed. Place salmon on baking sheet. Rub with olive oil Sprinkle with salt, pepper. Sprinkle with oregano. Roast for 25-30 minutes (until flaky in center).

Mix yogurt with the remaining herbs, the zest, ½ lemon juice and cucumber. Drizzle salmon with ½ lemon. Drizzle with olive oil and place a dollop of the yogurt on each serving. Garnish with additional lemon zest and parsley if desired.