Monthly Archives: August 2017

Diva Rambling: Your Invitation from the Universe….

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No time for meditation?  Look at it this way.  What if the Creator of the Universe invited you to tea?  That would be an invitation you would not say no to, ever.  You can find time between tasks to sit, clear the mind of the dust bunnies (see yesterday’s post) and give a quick meditation to the Universe.  

Research tells us that a fifteen minute meditation is a good and restful as a two hour nap! I meditate in the car while waiting for appointments, or in a doctors office (so I don’t have to listen to the rabble of the waiting room).  I can even meditate while I mop or vacuum.  If you use the three cleansing breath method to start you learn, through practice, to go in and out of meditation anywhere, anytime.  

Here’s to afternoon tea with your Universe,

Namaste, The Queen Cronista

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Diva Tasting: Chicken/Spinach Alfredo, Hudson Salad, Boston Cream Cake…

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Fresh Spinach & Chicken Alfredo##

Ingredients

2 Tablespoon Butter Or Margarine

2 Lb Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, Cut Into 1-Inch Pieces 

2 Cups Half n Half

1/2 Cup Hot Water

2 Cans (4 Oz) Mushroom Pieces And Stems, Drained

1 Box Chicken Helper Fettuccine Alfredo

3 Cups Washed Fresh Spinach Leaves, Torn Into Pieces

1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

Steps

  • 1 In 10-inch skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Cook chicken in butter about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until outside turns white.

  • 2 Stir in half n’ half, hot water, mushrooms and sauce mix (from Chicken Helper box). Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally. Stir in uncooked pasta (from Chicken Helper box). Reduce heat; cover and simmer about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pasta is tender.

  • 3 Stir in spinach. Cook over medium-high heat about 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until hot. Remove from heat; uncover and let stand 5 minutes (sauce will thicken as it stands). Sprinkle with cheese and fold into mixture to melt.

HUDSON’S SALAD

Dressing:

2 Teaspoons White Vinegar

2 Teaspoons Lemon Juice

1/4 Cup Sweet Pickle Relish

1 1/ Teaspoon Sugar

1/2 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard

1/4 Teaspoon Dry Mustard

1 Cup Mayonnaise

2 Tablespoons Chopped Flat Leaf Parsley

1 Hard Cooked Egg Diced

Salt and Pepper to Taste

Place in Blender and pulse lightly until blended

Salad Ingredients:

14 Oz Ham Diced

14 Oz Turkey Breast Diced

14 Oz Swiss Cheese Diced

1 Head of Lettuce Shredded

1/2 Cup Salad Cut Green Olives

7 Green Onions Diced

In a large bowl place Salad Ingredients and drizzle dressing over top and toss. Serve Immediately

Boston Cream Cake

Ingredients:

Cake:

1 Yellow Cake Mix According To Directions. Or 1 Store Bought Pound Cake Cut Cross Wise to layer.

Filling:

1 Cup Cold Milk

1 (3.4 Ounce) Pkg. Instant Vanilla Pudding

1 1/2 Cups Cool Whip

Chocolate Glaze:

2 (1 Ounce) Squares Unsweetened Baking Chocolate

2 Tablespoons Butter

1 1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar

4 Tablespoons Cream

Instructions:

Preheat oven and prepare cake mix according to package directions.

Spray two 9-inch round pans with cooking spray then lightly flour.

Bake cake according to package directions; until golden brown and center passes the toothpick test. Once done, let cakes cool and invert on a wire rack to cool further.

For the Filling:

Beat 1 cup of milk and pudding mix with a whisk or mixer for 2 minutes. Gently fold in whipped cream. Let stand 5 minutes. Place one if cake layer on serving plate, spread pudding mixture on top, then top off with second cake.

For the glaze:

Microwave chocolate and butter on high for one minute in a small microwave safe bowl. Stir until chocolate is melted. Add powdered sugar and 4 tablespoons milk; mix well until smooth. Spread over the top of the cake immediately letting drip down the sides. Refrigerate at least one hour before serving.

Diva Musing: Guided Visualization…

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I mention that pray and meditate a lot.  One of the things I teach in classes is guided visualization.  A way to go to a comfortable place and relax and clear the “dust bunnies” from the attic.  For those of you who are not familiar with guided visualization, we will walk through one for you.  This is a technique used by shaman and other wise souls to expand into the Universe safely and return renewed.  

Today we’ll do just that.  I’m playing meditation music from YouTube in the background.  Sit comfortably with your spine erect and relax your hands in your lap palms up. 

Take three long, slow, deep breaths in… as deep as you can take them.  Hold for seven seconds and slowly exhale to the count of twenty-one.  Now, imagine yourself in the attic of your mind.  It is full of dust bunnies and tumble weeds.  Throw open the double doors on your forehead and let the light inside.  See yourself with a large broom sweeping all the dust bunnies and tumbleweed and any other rubbish there out into the Universe.

As the debris leaves it turns into beautiful flowers, surrounded by glorious bubbles, floating into the Universe to positively charge your world.  Your brain is cleansed, your world is happy with the lovely energy you re-purposed and made wonderful.  

You are relaxed and ready to face the day.   

Namaste,  The Queen Cronista

Diva Tasting: Steak and Potato….

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NYC Strip Steak

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon White Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Apricot Preserves
  • 2 (1/2 Pound) New York Strip Steaks, 1 Inch Thick
  • Salt And Pepper To Taste

Directions

  1. In a shallow glass dish, mix the olive oil, garlic, cinnamon, sugar, and apricot preserves. Mix well, as the preserves tend to stick until warm.
  2. With a knife, make several shallow slashes in both sides of the steaks. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place steaks in the dish with the sauce, and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  3. Preheat grill for high heat.
  4. Lightly oil the grill grate. Place steaks on the grill, and discard any remaining sauce. Grill steaks 10 minutes, turning occasionally, or to desired doneness.

Diva Musing: Fall is coming…

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Getting in the mood for fall and all of its antics! Shakespeare’s Witches Song came to mind.  Time to pull out our cauldrons and brew some pumpkin juice, bake gingerbread men for the kiddies, spice some apple cider and pumpkin loaf.  The fragrances of fall baking is one of my favorites.  Please note the recipe below is NOT one of ours; LOL!  I did, however, try it once with disastrous result ! I don’t recommend it.  

Namaste, The Queen Cronista

Double, double toil and trouble”

BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

(from Macbeth)

Double, double toil and trouble; 

Song of the Witches: fire burn and caldron bubble. 

Fillet of a fenny snake, 

In the caldron boil and bake; 

Eye of newt and toe of frog, 

Wool of bat and tongue of dog, 

Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting, 

Lizard’s leg and howlet’s wing, 

For a charm of powerful trouble, 

Like a hell-broth boil and bubble. 

Double, double toil and trouble; 

Fire burn and caldron bubble. 

Cool it with a baboon’s blood, 

Then the charm is firm and good.

Notes:
Macbeth: IV.i 10-19; 35-38

Source: The Random House Book of Poetry for Children (1983)

 

Today’s Tasting: Jamaican Curry Chicken..

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Jamaican Curry Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1/4 Cup Curry Powder, Divided

  • 2 Tablespoons Garlic Powder

  • 1 Tablespoon Seasoned Salt

  • 1 Tablespoon Onion Powder

  • 2 Teaspoons Salt

  • 1 Sprig Fresh Thyme, Leaves Stripped

  • 1/8 Teaspoon Ground Allspice, Or More To Taste

  • Salt And Ground Black Pepper To Taste

  • 3 Pounds Whole Chicken, Cut Into Pieces

  • 4 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil

  • 3 Cups Water

  • 1 Potato, Diced

  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Carrots

  • 4 Scallions (green Onions), Chopped

  • 1 (2 Inches) Piece Fresh Ginger Root, Minced

  • 1 Teaspoon Jamaican Jerk Spice Or To Taste

Directions

  1. Whisk 2 tablespoons curry powder, garlic powder, seasoned salt, onion powder, salt, thyme leaves, allspice, salt, and pepper together in a bowl. Add chicken and coat with curry mixture until curry mixture is wet and sticks to chicken.

  2. Heat oil and 2 tablespoons curry powder in a large cast-iron skillet over high heat until oil is hot and curry powder changes color, 2 to 3 minutes. Add chicken to the hot oil mixture and reduce heat to medium. Add water, potato, carrots, scallions, ginger, and Jerk Spice to skillet.

  3. Cover skillet and simmer until chicken is no longer pink in the center and gravy is thickened, allowing chicken to cook undisturbed for last 15 minutes of cooking, 30 to 40 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone, should read 165 degrees F. Remove chicken to a serving dish; continue simmering gravy, uncovered, to thicken (if needed). Serve chicken with gravy over cooked jasmine rice.

Diva Musing: Fall Leaves

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Fall, leaves, fall

Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away; 
Lengthen night and shorten day; 
Every leaf speaks bliss to me 
Fluttering from the autumn tree. 
I shall smile when wreaths of snow 
Blossom where the rose should grow; 
I shall sing when night’s decay 
Ushers in a drearier day.
Ms. Bronte chooses to look at fall as a transition to drearier days.  Yet each diva can choose how she wished to look at this turn of events that nature is so faithful in bringing to us each season.  The colors, the smell of pumpkin bread and blazing fires, with marshmallows to be roasted and chestnuts to be toasted. These all portend a more joyful connotation to me. 
How do you look at fall?  Remember form follows thought….design us a beautiful fall please!
Namaste,
The Queen Cronista

Diva Tasting: Meatball Stroganoff

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One-Pot Meatball Stroganoff For Four (double For Eight)

2 Tablespoons Butter 

10 Oz Sliced Baby Bella Mushrooms

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Pepper

4 Cups Beef Broth

4 Cups Uncooked Wide Egg Noodles (from 12-Oz Bag)

24 Fully Cooked Beef Meatballs, (May Use Frozen If Desired)

3/4 Cup Sour Cream

In 4-quart saucepan, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, salt and pepper; cook 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until tender.


Add beef broth, egg noodles and meatballs; heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium; simmer uncovered 9 to 11 minutes, stirring occasionally, until liquid is mostly absorbed. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes. Stir in sour cream; serve immediately.

Diva Musing: Soul Health…

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We live in a world where no one wants to earn their keep anymore. I don’t know why. Our parents would have kicked us in the assets if we thought we were too good to work. We were healthier, happier and had more time than in today’s morass in which we live.

The best key to making sure you arrive each day is on the poster below….

I was in a store the other day where the employees were in a dither about an employee not showing up again and not calling in to let them know. In my day two strikes and you’re out. Not so anymore. I hear them say their manager wouldn’t fire him because she was more worried about her turnover stats than customer service. So there you go…yet one more explanation of why our world is in a state of confusion.

Good employees are set an example by losers who keep getting away with it. I left corporate America because the employees were able to stay on shopping pages and text on their personal phones all day long and not work. Complaints went up, and HR would let management do nothing about it. They were worried about turnover!

Only you can set the tone for your own spirit and do what is right. Otherwise, the price will be paid. Somehow, someday the Karma Cops will get retribution… and most people blame anything but themselves for their ultimate plight. Don’t be one of those. Choose the peace of soul and spirit that only right doing can bring. Namaste, The Queen Cronista.

Image result for motivational quotes

Diva Tasting: Asian Lettuce Wraps and Zucchini Loaf…

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ASIAN LETTUCE WRAPS##

Ingredients

  • 16 Boston Bibb Or Butter Lettuce Leaves
  • 2 Pounds Lean Ground Beef
  • 1 Tablespoon Cooking Oil
  • 1 Large Onion, Chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Hoisin Sauce
  • 4 Cloves Fresh Garlic, Minced
  • 2 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
  • 3 Tablespoon Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 3 Teaspoons Minced Ginger
  • 1 Dash Asian Chile Pepper Sauce, Or To Taste (optional)
  • 1 (8 Ounce) Bamboo Shoots (optional)
  • 1 Bunch Green Onions, Chopped
  • 4 Teaspoons Asian (dark) Sesame Oil

Directions

  1. Rinse whole lettuce leaves and pat dry, being careful not tear them. Set aside.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir beef and cooking oil in the hot skillet until browned and crumbly, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain and discard grease; transfer beef to a bowl. Cook and stir onion in the same skillet used for beef until slightly tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir hoisin sauce, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, and chile pepper sauce into onions. Add bamboo shoots, green onions, sesame oil, and cooked beef; cook and stir until the onions just begin to wilt, about 2 minutes.
  3. Arrange lettuce leaves around the outer edge of a large serving platter and pile meat mixture in the center.

Lemon Zucchini Cake

Serves: 10 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1¼ Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 6 Tbsp Melted Butter
  • 2 Eggs, Room Temperature
  • 1/2 Cup Half n’ Half
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Or Almond Extract
  • 2 Cups Cake Flour
  • 1¼ Tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ Tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1½ Cup Shredded Zucchini, Drained And Squeezed Dry
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Zest

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Spray a loaf pan with baking spray and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the sugar and butter. Whisk to combine.
  5. Add eggs and almond milk and whisk together.
  6. Add lemon juice and vanilla extract and stir to combine.
  7. Add flour mixture and stir just until incorporated.
  8. Fold in zucchini and lemon zest.
  9. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out with moist crumbs. The top of the cake should look dry.
  10. Place the loaf on a cooling rack and cool for 15 minutes. Use the parchment paper to carefully life the cake from the pan. Let cool completely on rack.

Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp lemon juice
  1. In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar and lemon juice. Whisk until smooth.
  2. Drizzle the glaze over the cake.
  3. Slice and serve.