Diva Rambling: Holiday Weddings….

I am helping cook and serve at a Holiday Wedding at the Church today.  A glorious time for love is the Holiday Season.  The couple is one of the finest most brilliant young couples in our area.  It is an honor to serve at this glorious event.

Look around this Season.  Where can you find to serve and make a difference? What can you do to brighten lives during this stressful time of year….including your own?  If each human gave a little of themselves each day to others can you imagine what an incredible difference it would make in our Global Atmosphere? I’m not talking money or gifts, simple caring, good manners and kindness does the trick. Give it a try! 

Namaste The Queen Cronista

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Diva Rambling: Holiday Cheer….

The other night I attended a Holiday Performance.  I was all alone in a huge crowd.  This was a crowd where I was supposed to know people.  Everyone was so caught up in rushing about and getting out of the parking lot no one even spoke to me.  I smiled and nodded to many and got nothing in return.   I wondered if there were others there, lonely and in need of at least a greeting?  I’m a lone wolf, it doesn’t bother me.  However, my heart ached at the thought of all that supposed Christmas Cheer, and that there were those there alone, lonely and in need of a smile. 

To some people your greeting, and a smile with eye contact, is the only blessing they may get in their day.  I encourage each of us this Holiday Season, to tune in, turn on the radar and engage others with our warmth and kindness.  The season is rough on everyone, but on some it is devastating because they may be alone, in grief, homeless or worse.  It costs nothing to light the light the Universe put in your soul.  Give it graciously, you will make a difference in lives.   

Namaste, The Queen Cronista

Diva Tasting: Apps and Sides…..

Cheesy Jalapeno Roll Ups
Ingredients

8 Oz Jalapeno Cream Cheese Spread (3/4 Cup From An 8-Oz Container)

1/2 Cup Chopped Cooked Bacon

1/2 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese

1 Can (8 Oz) Pillsbury™ Refrigerated Crescent Dinner Rolls Or 1 Can (8 Oz) Refrigerated Crescent Dough Sheet

Steps
1Heat oven to 375°F. In small bowl, mix cream cheese and bacon until well blended; set aside.
Unroll crescent dough; separate into 4 (4×6-inch) rectangles, pressing perforations to seal. (If using dough sheet, unroll and cut into 4 rectangles.) Spread cream cheese mixture on each of the dough rectangles to within 1/2 inch of edges.
Starting with 1 short side, roll up rectangle; press seam to seal. Cut roll into 6 slices, and place slices cut side down on ungreased large cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining dough rectangles.
Bake 15 to 17 minutes or until light golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Quinoa Stuffing
Ingredients
  • 4 Cups Chicken Stock
  • 2 Cups Quinoa
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 2 Small Zucchinis, Cut Into 1-Inch Cubes
  • 1 Lg Bag of Baby Spinach
  • 1 Bunch Green Onions, Chopped
  • 1 Cup Diced Dried Apricots (Optional)
  • 1 Cup Dried Cranberries
  • 1 Cup Chopped Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley
  • 1 Lime, Juiced, Or To Taste
Directions
  1. Bring stock to a boil in a saucepan, reduce heat to low, and stir in quinoa. Cover pan and simmer until quinoa absorbs the liquid, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir zucchinis and spinach in the hot oil until slightly browned and wilted, about 10 minutes. Stir quinoa into the vegetables and gently mix green onions, apricots (Optional), cranberries, and parsley into the stuffing. Drizzle with lime juice to taste.

Diva Tasting: Steak and Mushrooms….

Steak and Mushrooms…

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds beef sirloin
  • 1 Lg Package of Cremini Mushrooms Sliced
  • 1 can of Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • sea salt to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup red wine or Balsamic Vinegar

Directions

  1. Cut beef into cubes. In a large skillet over medium/high heat, heat the olive oil and brown beef cubes with the garlic.
  2. Add mushrooms with liquid, tomato sauce, salt, pepper and red wine. Cook for 30 minutes or until beef cubes are tender. Add a little more wine while cooking if desired. Serve with Brown Rice, roasted asparagus and garlic crostini.

Diva Rambling: Brilliance….

I had the pleasure of sitting and philosophizing with two of my favorite Divas yesterday.  They are young but wise old souls.  I cannot express the appreciation I have for having good counsel from brilliant Divas of all ages.  The Universe has blessed me tenfold with colleagues of all ages who are not only brilliant but who speak “Cronista” so I don’t feel like an idiot all the time.  

If you don’t have a small group to have tea and chat with occasionally…do yourself a favor and find one.  It’s food for the soul.  One of my best holiday treats was this after noon tea group Namaste, The Queen Cronista…

Diva Tasting: Appetizer and Dessert….

Sausage Balls
Ingredients

1 Lb Bulk Sausage

3 Cups Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese (8 Oz)

1/2 Teaspoon Dried Rosemary Leaves, Crushed

1 Cup All Purpose Flour

2 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour

Steps
  • Heat oven to 375°F. Line 15×10×1-inch pan with foil; spray with cooking spray.
  • In large bowl, mix sausage, cheese and rosemary; mix well using hands or spoon.
  • Shape mixture into 42 (1 1/4-inch) balls. Place in pan. Bake 15 to 17 minutes or until golden brown.
Variation: Use 1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury™ refrigerated crescent dinner rolls; Unroll crescent dough on work surface; coat each side of dough with 1 tablespoon flour. Using pizza cutter or knife, cut dough into about 1/4-inch pieces. Mix crescent dough pieces into bowl of sausage mixture in small amounts until well blended.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Pecan Cardamom Bar Cookies-Dessert
Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cardamom
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Butter
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon milk, or as needed
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C). Grease a 9X13 inch pan.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together 1cup of butter, white sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of vanilla. Combine the flour, cardamom and salt; stir into the batter until it forms a soft dough. Spread evenly in the prepared pan. Brush the top with egg white and sprinkle pecans over the top.
  3. Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven. Prepare the frosting while the cookies bake.
  4. Melt the remaining butter in a saucepan over low heat until it starts to brown. Remove from the heat and stir in confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Stir in enough milk to achieve a drizzling consistency. Drizzle frosting onto the bars when warm. Cool, then cut into bars.

Diva Musing: Holiday’s Around the World…Italy

I love this site.  Someone has taken the time to let us see how others around the globe celebrate the season….Namaste, The Queen Cronista
Christmas in Italy
The popularity of the Nativity scene, one of the most beloved and enduring symbols of the holiday season, originated in Italy. St. Francis of Assisi asked a man named Giovanni Vellita of the village of Greccio to create a manger scene. St. Francis performed mass in front of this early Nativity scene, which inspired awe and devotion in all who saw it. The creation of the figures or pastori became an entire genre of folk art.
In Rome, cannon are fired from Castel St. Angelo of Christmas Eve to announce the beginning of the holiday season. A 24-hour fast ends with an elaborate Christmas feast. Small presents are drawn from the Urn of Fate.
The main exchange of gifts takes place on January 6, the feast of the Epiphany, the celebration in remembrance of the Magi’s visit to the Christ Child. Children anxiously await a visit from La Befana who brings gifts for the good and punishment for the bad. According to legend, the three wise men stopped during their journey and asked an old woman for food and shelter. She refused them and they continued on their way. Within a few hours the woman had a change of heart but the Magi were long gone. La Befana, which means Epiphany, still wonders the earth searching for the Christ Child. She is depicted in various ways: as a fairy queen, a crone, or a witch. 
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