Diva Musing: The Little Things…

It’s The Little Things…
I was laying in bed this morning noting how my bed felt like a cloud in heaven. I didn’t want to get up. I found myself thanking the Universe for letting me sleep in and enjoy the luxurious feeling of not having to rush into my morning. I felt so pampered and calm.
I did a long meditation and some deep breathing exercises. Finally I got up. I Rolled into the bathroom to put on the full drag for the day and enjoyed the time it took to put on the war paint and get ready for the day. My dogs, of course, were at my feet rooting me on. I suddenly realized, again, that they are a critical part of my relaxing into the day. Stop and pet the fur babies, it has amazing cathartic powers.
I then turned on the healing music I leave on for my dogs all day. I went to the kitchen to take my daily supplements and drink some water before dressing. I was able to stay stress free because I’d managed to remember to put out my outfit the night before. First miracle of the day.
I finished dressing, gave the pups their morning breakfast snack before telling them I thank the Universe for them everyday and I left. I ended up at one of the morning water holes where I sit in a booth and send my daily uplifting texts to family and friends. I concentrate on sending love and healing light to those I know need an extra dose today. I sip my coffee and finally move toward work.
Today I find the construction crew jack-hammering outside my window for 3 hours. Enough to make you feel like you no longer have the will to live. This repetitive sound for hours is surely used as some form of torture somewhere! I turned on healing music as loud as I could to hear it a bit over the chaos. I began to breathe and work on a project for my grandson as my printer is down and I can’t get a hold of anyone I need to advance the tasks of the week. Oh, did I mention …Mercury is in Retrograde with about six other planets, so the cosmic butt kicking is in full force.
I finally got a hold of a nice customer service person to help me with the book I’m publishing for my Grandsons. Now I’m getting back on track. So I pulled a few of my happy triggers out of the hat to see if I could drown the pounding sounds all about me. I thought about the long lavender bubble bath I took last night. I thought about sitting in the park and smoking cigars with one of my favorite misanthropes last week; the breeze and babbling creek constant and reassuring.
Friends – just spending time with good, intellectual people when nothing much is going on around you. Relaxing into that time with no sense of urgency required. We just sit and talk, or or share beliefs about the cosmos. Thoughts that seed the clouds of imagination and creativity. Taking quality time to be entirely focused with friends and they with me, always feels like a spa for the senses to me.
Generally speaking I’m a “Type A” person. However, as the wisdom of the grandmothers takes over I find I am less about stress and more about what I adore…”The Little Things”! In this …What have you done for me lately… world of over-entitled parasites, we tend to think of success in terms of costly superficial things – like exotic cars, luxury travel and keeping up with the trashy, self proclaimed elite that currently rules the media. When in fact its the little things that are are easily available and life enhancing that really kick it up to the next lever. These things just need a little more recognition and gratitude in our lives. Namaste, The Queen Cronista
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Diva Tasting: Biscuit N Gravy Casserole…

Here in the South we love our biscuits and gravy! I’ve been on a casserole binge for weeks. Casseroles are easier to cook for many in this summer heat. I hope you enjoy. 

Biscuits And Gravy Casserole

Ingredients

  • 2 Cans Of Crescent Sheets

  • 1 Pound Ground Breakfast Sausage

  • 1/2 Pound Of Lean Ground Beef

  • 4 Tablespoons Flour

  • 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

  • 3 Cups Of Half N Half

Instructions

Crusts:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees (F).

  2. Prepare a small casserole dish (approximately 9×13) with cooking spray. Set aside.

  3. Open Crescent Sheets

  4. Layer first sheet on bottom and press to fit in prepared pan.

  5. Bake for 10 minutes.

Gravy
In a heavy skillet, brown the ground breakfast sausage and beef over medium high heat until fully cooked.
Sprinkle the cooked meats with the flour.
Use a wooden spoon to stir flour into sausage until completely absorbed.
Lower heat to medium, and cook flour/sausage mixture for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add half n half, and stir to combine.
Add sea salt salt and black pepper.
Stir frequently until mixture comes to a slight boil.
Taste, and adjust seasonings as desired. (I usually add more black pepper)
If the gravy is too thick, add a bit more cream until it is your desired consistency.
Pour gravy over the cooked Crescent sheet.
Layer the remaining uncooked Crescent sheet over the gravy.
Place casserole dish on a baking sheet, and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. If its start to over-brown, you can cover with foil for the last 10 minutes or so. Serve immediately with your breakfast menu.

Diva Tasting: Chicken Spinach Alfredo Casserole…

Chicken Spinach Alfredo Casserole

Ingredients

  • 6 Cups Cooked Rotisserie Chicken, Diced or Shredded

  • 2 Bags Frozen Spinach, Thawed and Drained

  • 1 (15-ounce) Jar Garlic Alfredo Sauce

  • 1 Cup Ricotta Cheese

  • 1/2 Cup Sour Cream

  • 2 (8-ounce) Cans Crescent Sheets or 2 Puff Pastry Sheets

  • 3 Cups Italian Blend Shredded Cheese

  • 1/2 teaspoon Dried Basil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and spray a 9×13 -inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, gently mix chicken, spinach, and between 1/2 jar to 3/4 jar of Alfredo sauce together with sour cream, ricotta cheese, and 2 Cups Italian Blend Shredded Cheese. Blend well. Set aside.
  3. Place 1 crescent sheet dough in dish and press to sides to form bottom crust.

  4. Spread the cheese, chicken and spinach mixture onto dough.
  5. Place the second layer of crescent sheets over the mixture.
  6. Top with remaining 1 cup of cheese and sprinkle with basil.

  7. Bake, uncovered, for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

  8. Let set and cut into square serving pieces makes 8-12. Pizza Cutter may help cut easier. Serve with Mediterranean salad with tarragon vinaigrette.

Diva Musing: Global Awareness….

One of the places I now visit each day to have my coffee is our local pastry shop.  The family who runs it is Cambodian.  Mon and Dad who own it, often sit and chat with me.  Today mom and I were chatting about her two little ones, who are addicted to iPad. She showed me pictures of the son at home dancing with daddy.  She says they have to do all sorts of things to distract them and keep them off their electronic “stuff”. 
This is an all too common tale globally, I think.  At least this mom and dad take marked efforts to keep them otherwise occupied, an play as part of a family.  My own son and daughter-in-law are very strict about this rule.  My grandchildren are only allowed about an hour of media time or a good movie a day.  Heaven knows all children these days have enough other toys to get creative with, they just don’t want to.  
Ginn told me that when she goes home to Cambodia she is sad because the children are different nowadays.  She said shes not sure if its pollution in the water etc, or laziness.  I told her I suspect both.  Our children globally are hooked on every kind of bad food and electronics.  Its an addiction for most.  The truly discerning parents, like Ginn, and my son and daughter-in-law , make sure to limit the time spent… so a full spectrum of quality of life is met.  It is often rumored that Albert Einstein said “I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.” Weather the father of relativity said it or not… it was prophetic. 
We should all be “ROC (Reclaiming Our Children) Star” parents.  Parents in every culture…be aware, be engaged, be there for the young ones around the globe. They are our future.  Put the foot down, turn the media off. Make quality time to look each other in the eye, and find new creative ways to interact each day.  It will be worth it to the world, and certainly to your young ones. 
Namaste, The Queen Cronista

 

Diva Tasting: Greek Halibut and Chocolate Trifle…..

Greek Halibut 

Ingredients

  • 4-6 (6 Ounce) Fillets Halibut
  • 1 Tablespoon Greek Seasoning
  • 1 Large Tomato, Chopped
  • 1 Cup of Crumbled Feta
  • 1 Onion, Chopped
  • 1 (5 Ounce) Jar Pitted Kalamata Olives
  • 1/4 Cup Capers
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1 Medium Lemon Juiced and Zested
  • Sea Salt And Ground Black Pepper To Taste

Directions

  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  2. Place halibut fillets on a large sheet of aluminum foil and season with Greek seasoning. Combine tomato, onion, olives, capers, feta, olive oil, lemon juice and zest, salt, and pepper in a bowl toss well. Spoon tomato mixture over the halibut. Carefully seal all the edges of the foil to create a large packet. Place the packet on a baking sheet.

  3. Bake in the preheated oven until the fish flakes easily with a fork, 30 to 40 minutes.

  4. Serve with Pita Bread, Roasted Lemon Asparagus, and baked parsnip fries.

Chocolate Trifle 2 Dessert 

Ingredients

  • 1 (19.8 Ounce) Package Brownie Mix

  • 1 (3.9 Ounce) Package Instant Chocolate Pudding Mix

  • 1/4 Cup Powdered Cocoa

  • 1 Cup Water

  • 1 (14 Ounce) Can Sweetened Condensed Milk

  • 1 Cup Sour Cream

  • 2 Cups Walnuts Chopped

  • 1 (8 Ounce) Container Frozen Whipped Topping, Thawed

  • 1 (12 Ounce) Container Frozen Whipped Topping, Thawed

  • 1 (1.5 Ounce) Bar Chocolate Candy

Directions

  1. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions and cool completely. Cut into 1 inch squares.

  2. In a large bowl, combine pudding mix, water, sweetened condensed milk, cocoa, sour cream and then fold in 1 ½ Cups of nuts. Mix until smooth, then fold in 8 ounces whipped topping.

  3. In a trifle bowl or glass serving dish, place half of the brownies, half of the pudding mixture and half of the 12 ounce container of whipped topping. Repeat layers. Shave chocolate onto top layer for garnish. Refrigerate 8 hours before serving.

Diva Rambling: I Don’t Do Guilt….

I DON’T DO GUILT…
All of the sitcoms show the Jewish mother, the Italian mother, the elder grandmother, the mothers and grandmothers of almost every culture as being the dreadful harbingers of guilt to their families. When I was in the rebellious stage of puberty and throughout my teen years, I always told my mother…”I’m your one child who does NOT do guilt… so take it elsewhere.”  She never knew what to do with that.
In my observations, I notice that the human psyche is set to do guilt mostly through culture and societal fears. However, when it comes to guilt feelings we must distinguish between false guilt and true guilt. It is only normal to have feelings of guilt when we do something wrong. Most of us are raised this way. Let us call this… “true guilt”. However, what we must NOT let happen is the feeling of “false guilt” undermine us. This occurs when we are innocent of something yet feel guilty about it. This is possibly because other try to manipulate us or blame us. We will call this is “false guilt”.How do we tell? How do we raise our discernment to delineate the difference?
The major difference between false guilt and true guilt is their respective points of origins. False guilt has at least two possible points of origin: our own psyche; the passive-aggressive demons in our attic… as well as humans in our circle. The evil “the accuser” who relentlessly scourges us. “The Accuser” will bring to mind the most horrible thoughts of our sub-conscious. “The Accuser” will seek to cause us to focus on the negative rather than on forgiving ourselves, learning from our mistakes, letting go and moving on. It is a fitting name, as s/he can and does accuse us to our own minds and consciences.
Then there are those who convince themselves that they’re somehow on permanent leave before the Universe. They think that if they relentlessly perform at a superficial standard—they’ll earn the Universes acceptance and the Karma Cops won’t touch them. These are the lowest of hypocrites. They don’t do guilt because they believe they are so above the rest of us. Usually, they have no conscience, therefore…NO Guilt. The Karma Cops have the most fun with these I surmise.
True guilt, originates from one’s own spirit. The “true guilt” a light- being feels over his/her wrongdoing will be the Universe trying to put our spirit back on track. The Universe cannot allow us to habitually err, so it brings to the conviction of right-doing. The Universe recognizes “guilt,” but knows it is our feelings of “true guilt”. We feel guilty because we are, in fact, guilty. The spirit knows what is right at all times.
The cure for true guilt is not just a commitment to “do better.” It’s impossible to resolve issues of the past by thinking we will do better tomorrow. Getting rid of “true guilt” requires forgiveness of ourselves and others. Once we forgive ourselves and other of the transgressions, the result is a peace unsurpassed. We are back in stride with the Path the Universe made for us.
Having “False guilt” can result in depression, anxiety, and spiritual paralysis. Try to remember you are not the center of the Universe. False guilt happens when one is in an “all about me” frame of mind. It is us worrying about us and not our true light-worker roll in the Universe. Be all that you can be to your world. Don’t do false guilt. Namaste, the Queen Cronista

Diva Tasting: Hamburger Steaks …

Hamburger Steaks 

Ingredients

  • 2 Pounds Ground Chuck

  • 2 Eggs

  • 1/2 Cup Bread Crumbs

  • 1/8 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

  • 1/2 Teaspoon Seasoned Salt

  • 1 Teaspoon Onion Powder

  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder

  • 4 Teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce

  • 4 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil

  • 1 1/2 Cups Chopped Onion

  • 3 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour

  • 2 Cups Beef Broth

  • 1 Tablespoon Cooking Sherry or Rice Vinegar

  • 1/2 Teaspoon Seasoned Salt

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, pepper, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and Worcestershire sauce. Form into 8 balls, and flatten into patties.

  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry the patties and onion in the oil until patties are nicely browned, about 4 minutes per side. Remove the beef patties to a plate, and keep warm.

  3. Sprinkle flour over the onions and drippings remaining in the skillet. Stir in flour with a fork, scraping bits of beef off of the bottom as you stir. Gradually mix in the beef broth and sherry. Season with seasoned salt. Simmer and stir over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, until the gravy thickens. Turn heat to low, return patties to the gravy, cover, and simmer for another 15 minutes.

  4. Serve with Garlic Mashed potatoes and roasted green beans or other seasonal vegetable.