Diva Tastine: Beans N Greens….

Beans N Greens Meal or Side
Greens with Cannellini Beans and Pancetta
Ingredients
  • 6 Slices Pancetta Or Bacon, Chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Bunch Green Onions, Chopped
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Bunch Kale, Roughly Chopped
  • 1 Bunch Beet Greens, Roughly Chopped
  • 1 Bunch of Kudzu Leaf (when available) Chopped
  • Sea Salt To Taste
  • 2 (15 Ounce) Can Cannellini Beans
Directions
Microwave the chopped pancetta or bacon on high for 3 minutes. Drain the drippings, and set the crispy pancetta aside.
In a large dutch oven, heat the olive oil and pancetta drippings over medium heat. Cook onion in oil until soft. Add the minced garlic cloves, and cook a minute more. Stir in chopped greens, and season with salt to taste (you can always add more). Note: if using Kudzu soak in vinegar water in a colander for about 10 minutes and drain.
Partially cover the pan, and cook until the greens begin to wilt, add cannelloni beans and fold into greens. Cook partially covered for 10 more minutes, until the flavors have combined and the greens are tender. Stir in crispy pancetta. Serve with Cornbread or Polenta and beverage.

Diva Rambling: The Wolf You Feed; Tips to Feed the Good Wolf Part 1…

The Wolf You Feed Tips to Feed the Good Wolf Help Part 1
I once heard on a TV show the legend of the elders tell about the battle of two wolves. One is evil and the other is good. He explains that the same fight is going on within everyone. Of course the young ones asked which wolf will win? “The elder response, “the one you feed.” This is the daily struggle with depression. There is the Wolf of panic and sadness, grief and the Wolf of healing and uplifting. Here some things you might want to remember. To feed the good Wolf!
Every person has her/his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man called when he’s only sad.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Let depression be your guide, not your downfall. We all wish for more joyful times right now. But I remind myself that I am grateful for what I have learned along the way. I hope I have become a more compassionate person. Shall we chat about some things that we have all learned over time?
You Are What You Eat:
We are probably all sick of hearing this quote, but it is so true. On my blog, every day, I put a new recipe from my archive. By the end of typing a few of those recipes I’m so hungry I could eat the refrigerator. But I remind myself that the law of the universe dictates that for a healthy body I need to consume the correct amount of vegetables, protein, complex carbohydrates, and omega-3 acids. And I try to choose wisely that day.  I’m a foodie so that usually difficult. I know for a fact, from my personal experience, that what I eat definitely affects my mood for the day.
Truth: are used to tell the teams that I worked with when I hired them that I would see that they had the best resume they could hope for if they decided to leave my team and employment.  I would tell them to take with a learn from every job, manager, and coworker, that they had and homogenize it into a personal truth that help make them the best they could be.  So listen to the Doobies and don’t bees and homogenize what’s best for your personal truth in all situations.  Your path to healing and being your personal best is your choice.
STRESS: First of all I don’t think you have to gain much in chronological it years to know that chronic stress makes life worse. Allowing chronic stress in our lives without taking note can definitely worse than our emotional resilience as well as physical. Stress, specifically chronic stress, can cause disease.
The Primal Brain:
Our primal brains… And we all have one… Means that we hear things different from what may actually have been said. Our brains have a negative funnel that drains our thoughts into a pool of negative bias. Once we learn to pay attention to our personal, specific filters, we can become more objective and reach a happier truth.
Success Is An Uneven Progress:
Much research and hundreds of books have been written on the worlds most successful people. They all report one consistent fact. They tell us that the journey to the top of the mountain was filled with hurdles, fails, falls and usually a lot of embarrassment. One thing they all say attributed to their success, generally speaking, was perseverance, persistence, and positive thinking. To paraphrase a quote often cited by Thomas Edison to a young reporter… “Young man, I did not fail over 1700 times to create electricity… I succeeded in finding 1700 ways not to produce electricity. “. When the world gives you lemons… Make lemonade… Or something else delicious you can use.
People Who Need People…
I once read if we don’t get 10 hugs a day that will die 10 years younger. If that’s the case I should’ve been dead 20 years ago. However, I truly believe in hugging and being with people. Right now during this pandemic we can’t do that as much. But we can still reach out,. Right now I am homeschooling my grandchildren who are five and seven and 10 hours away. We get on FaceTime, we watch videos together on our iPads, we laugh, and mom and dad participate in the background. It really, really makes a difference. Find a way, it can be done in This modern world of technology. 
When I was younger I would hear older people tell me that “if you play you must pay! “. As my Jewish friends would say that’s a bunch of Fakakta. Hard work is just as important as meaningful play. From all that I read there’s clinical evidence to prove that meaningful play helps us in the face of stress and keeps us from losing the capacity to heal. Humor is the best medicine in my opinion. 

Diva Chilling: Easter How To…

Repeat..Sent by a friend….
Easter is coming…a few holiday tips for those who do traditional lamb for the day….
How to Roast Lamb That’s Tender and Juicy Every Time
Choosing the Right Cuts
The leg and rack are the most tender cuts of meat on a lamb, and are at their best when roasted. Roasting is a “dry heat” cooking method, meaning that you do not add any liquid to the meat as you cook it.
Tougher cuts of lamb, such as shank and shoulder, are best for braising and stewing
Leg of Lamb
You can purchase leg of lamb bone-in or boneless. A whole leg of lamb often includes the shank portion, but since the shank does not take well to the dry heat of roasting, it’s best to buy the leg without the shank. You can also buy a half leg of lamb; the butt-end of the leg will be the meatiest and most tender. Have the butcher bone and butterfly it.
Rack of Lamb
Rack of lamb is the cut with the rib bones or chops.  This succulent roast is often served “Frenched,” with the fat and meat trimmed from between the ribs and the bones scraped clean and protruding outward. Your butcher should be able to prep the roast for you; remember to ask for the meat trimmings if you want to make soup later on. When two or more racks of lamb are tied together to form a circular roast, it’s called a crown roast.
Seasoning the Meat
Lamb is flavorful enough on its own that it doesn’t need much seasoning, yet robust enough that it pairs beautifully with any number of boldly flavored seasonings, like rosemary, oregano, marjoram, thyme, lemon zest, cumin, coriander, mint, and garlic. I prefer the Greek or Moroccan Spices.
How to season lamb:
  • Trim some of the excess fat and any silver skin;
  • 16 Oz Container of Greek Yogurt Combine with…(Removes Any Gamey Taste)
  • Chopped herbs/seasonings and Combine the mixture evenly over the surface of the meat;
  • Wrap the coated meat tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight for the best flavor.
  • Remove the plastic wrap and wipe the surface of the yogurt marinade. Let sit to room temperature.
Another popular way to season a roast is to make small incisions in the surface of the meat and push slivers of garlic and sprigs of herbs into the slits. You can do this right before you begin roasting or a day ahead for more intense flavor. However, I recommend you use the yogurt marinade on all of them for best flavors.
When you’re seasoning the lamb, don’t salt it until just before cooking; salt can draw moisture out of the meat. I like to rack of lamb with a slightly sweet vinaigrette or tatziki sauce.
Roasting Lamb: Temperatures and Times
Before roasting lamb, remove it from the refrigerator and allow it to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. A piece of meat at room temperature will roast more evenly.
Use a roasting rack to ensure even browning and heat circulation around the meat.
How to determine the ideal roasting temperature and time for lamb. The amount of fat that your lamb has on the outside and marbled through the middle will determine the cooking time and temperature:
  • Roast leaner cuts in a hotter oven: A hot oven gets leaner cuts of meat nicely browned on the outside before they become overcooked and dry in the middle. For a lean piece of meat, cook at 450 degrees F (230 degrees C) for the first 15 minutes, then turn the temperature down to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) to continue roasting — the meat will take about 25 minutes per pound to reach medium rare.
  • Roast fattier pieces of lamb longer and at lower temps: For a fattier piece of meat, roast at 325 degrees F (160 degrees C) for a longer period of time, allowing the fat to slowly melt and bathe the roast in its own juices. Meat cooked with this method will take about 30 minutes per pound to reach medium rare.
The most accurate way to determine doneness is with a meat thermometer:
  • 110 degrees F (42 degrees C) is rare
  • 120 degrees F (58 degrees C) is medium-rare
  • 145 degrees F (68 degrees C) is medium-well
The USDA recommends cooking roasts to 145 degrees F. Avoid cooking your lamb beyond this temperature as the meat can become dried out and tough.
Rest Your Roast
Once your roast is within 10 degrees F (5 degrees C) of its ideal cooked temperature, remove from the oven, place a foil tent loosely over it, and let rest for 15-20 minutes. As the meat rests, the internal temperature will increase by several degrees, the muscle fibers will relax, and the juice that has come to the surface of the meat during cooking will begin to return to the center. A well-rested piece of meat will be more tender and retain its juices better when you slice it.

Diva Musing:Red Flags of Mood Disorders…

Red Flags of Mood Disorders
In this global pandemic we may all feel off center and afraid. However, here are some red flags you may want to consider to keep you fighting fit…
The national Institute of health is constantly publishing articles updating us on the fact that depressive disorders are growing. We will post another article on diagnosing whether or not yours is clinical or a passing sadness or grief.
The feelings of grief, frustration, sadness, should not be ignored but are normal Emotions if not in the extreme.  Emotions if not in the extreme. Young and old have moments where the brain fog hits and we forget things. We forget simple things like where we put our glasses or our dogs name.
Depression on the other hand involves a complete lack of concentration and making decisions. It may even prevent you from wanting to get out of bed in the morning. You may start avoiding human contact.

Statistics have shown that depression is not just a mental disorder. Clinical studies have shown that a major percentage of persons report to their doctor visit for aches and pains. Mood disorders can show up with definite physical symptoms.
You may notice that things that have always brought you joy and happiness no longer interest you. You may have become empathetic to your favorite activities and hobbies. These may definitely be red flags. Often people with depressive or anxiety disorders may also be substance abusers. If you use drugs or alcohol to help treat these feelings it is suggested that you get help immediately.

Several of my friends, who deal in therapy daily, tell me that people should not overlook sleeping irregularities, insomnia, oversleeping, intermittent sleep patterns. These are things you should consult your physician about if you are experiencing them.

We all go through food binges at one time or another… Whether we wish to admit it or not. Some people binge on sweet others on salty. I personally never have a problem with losing my appetite. So I have to watch on the binge issue.  Just know that significant changes in appetite and weight can signal signs of depression. Again consult your physician or therapist.

Agitation, temperaments, and mood swings need to be addressed as well. Just because you throw a temperament does not mean you are depressed. However, if it’s a regular habit you may want to consider it a sign of depression.  Someone chewing food too loud at the table next to you can irritate anyone. However, if thought surface of self harm or desire to hurt someone else, again, consult someone for help at once.

There are unacceptable limits of feeling guilt or self reproach. Deep feelings such as these can often be a red flag to depression. If you constantly feel worthless and have thoughts that you don’t deserve love, this can spiral into a bigger problem. If this spirals into thoughts of self harm or death please seek immediate help. You, me, everyone deserves help when these feelings arise. Get that help sooner rather than later. Sent with love and hope.

Namaste, The Queen Cronista…

*Always consult your professional doctors or therapists for questions about your mental well being & health…

Diva Tasting: Free Food In Your Yard…

Survival in Hard Times Free Food in your Yard
We’ve been ranting for weeks about survival in this madness. Everywhere spring is springing and there is a yard full of healthy delights if you just look. They all need to be soaked in vinegar but its there, free and healthy. Below is one of the resources I used. Find The resource you like but for goodness sake give them a try you’ll be glad you did. “Free Food”. I like making salad or wilting greens from this list. All depends on the seasons and your area, of course.  
Here is the resource with pictures and suggestions and cautions:
https://matteroftrust.org/62-edible-wild-plants-that-you-didnt-know-you-can-eat/ 61 Edible Wild Plants That You Didn’t Know You Can Eat
By Colin
You’re  in the woods with some friends and realize neither of you packed enough food, what’s your first instinct? I certainly wouldn’t panic and neither should you. You are probably armed with tools in your backpack. Combine that with the Earth vast variety of natural foods; you should have little problem in getting nourishment. What then are those food that aren’t only found in restaurants or grocery stores?
This variety of foods include; wild berries, edible plants and even seeds! Sounds questionable? No need to worry as these wild edible plants, berries and seeds, are totally safe for consumption as long as you are certain of their identity when collecting.
If you are at any point unsure of the plant, you can perform the Universal Edibility Test. But! If you not one hundred percent sure of the plant that you are identifying, I would advise against consuming it.
Table Of Content
1. Fireweed
10. Broadleaf Plantain
11. Creeping Charlie
12. Forget Me Not
13. Garlic Mustard
14. Wild Black Cherry
15. Harebell
16. Elderberry
17. Field Pennycress
18. Coneflower
19. Kudzu
2. Dandelion
20. Meadowsweet
21. Mallow
22. Peppergrass
23. Pineapple Weed
24. Pickerelweed
25. Mullein
26. Red Clover
27. Partridgeberry
28. Sheep Sorrel
29. Shepherd’s Purse
3. Chickweed
30. Sunflower
31. Spring Beauty
32. Tea Plant
33. Toothwort
34. Teasel
35. Wild Grape Vine
36. Wild Bee Balm
37. Vervain Mallow
38. Prickly Pear Cactus
39. Herb Robert
4. Curly Dock
40. Mayapple
41. Joe Pye Weed
42. Knapweed
43. Wild Leek
44. Cleavers
45. Cattail
46. Blue Vervain
47. Common Yarrow
48. Common Sow Thistle
49. Coltsfoot
5. Asparagus
50. Fern Leaf Yarrow
51. Henbit
52. Crimson Clover
53. Evening Primrose
54. Downy Yellow Violet
55. Daisy Fleabane
56. Japanese Knotweed
57. Milk Thistle
58. Lambs Quarters
59. Queen Anne’s Lace
6. Chicory
60. Purple Deadnettle
61. New England Aster
7. Wood Sorrel
8. Bull Thistle
9. Alfalfa

Diva Tasting: Peanut Curry Chicken…

Peanut Curry Chicken
Ingredients
Spice Blend:
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt, Plus More To Taste
  • 2 Teaspoons Ground Coriander
  • 2 Teaspoons Ground Cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Turmeric
  • 1 Teaspoon Paprika
  • ½ Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 3 Pounds Skinless, Boneless Chicken Thighs, Cut Into 2-Inch Pieces
  • 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Large Yellow Onion, Chopped
  • 6 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Finely Grated Fresh Ginger
  • 4 Cups Chicken Broth, Or To Taste
  • 1 Cup Unsweetened Natural Peanut Butter
  • ½ Cup Ketchup
  • 1 Tablespoon Packed Brown Sugar
  • 1 Pound Zucchini, Cut Into Chunks
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, Cut Into Chunks
  • 1 Green Poblano Pepper, Diced
  • 2 Cups Hot Cooked Rice
  • 1 Lime, For Garnish
  • ½ Cup Roasted Peanuts, Plus More For Garnish
  • 3 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Cilantro, For Garnish
Directions
Mix salt, coriander, cumin, turmeric, paprika, and cayenne pepper together in a small bowl.
Place chicken pieces in a separate bowl and add 1/2 of the spice blend. Mix together thoroughly to coat each surface with spice blend
Heat oil over high heat in a heavy pot. Brown half of the chicken pieces on all sides. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with the rest of the chicken.
Reduce heat to medium and add onion to pot. Saute until onions start to turn translucent and golden, 1 or 2 minutes. Add garlic and ginger; cook about 1 minute. Stir in remaining spice blend; cook and stir one minute. Pour in chicken broth. Add browned chicken along with accumulated juices. Stir in peanut butter and ketchup; add brown sugar. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to maintain a gentle, steady simmer. Simmer, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.
Transfer zucchini, red bell pepper, poblano pepper, and peanuts to the pot. Stir to mix. Continue simmering until chicken and vegetables are fork tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from heat.
Serve over rice with a squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of peanuts and chopped cilantro.

Diva Tasting: Cornish Pasties….

Cornish Pasties
Ingredients
1 Can Flaky Biscuits
For The Filling:
1 Pound Lean Ground Beef, Sautéing Until Brown And Crumbled
1 Small Onion, Very Finely Chopped
1 Carrot, Grated
1 Small Idaho Potato, Grated
1 1/2 Teaspoons Sea Salt
3/4 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
2 Eggs, Lightly Beaten
Directions
The trick to making any pastry easy to work with is kneading it just enough so that it can be rolled out and manipulated without breaking but yet retains its lovely texture. Don t overwork the biscuits. Roll into rounds and place in frig.  
  1. Remove biscuits and roll into six inch rounds on floured surface. Place wax paper between each. Refrigerate if not using immediately.
  2. For the filling: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  3. Remove the biscuit circles from the refrigerator.
  4. Brown and crumble the meat and drain on paper towels.
  5. In a mixing bowl, combine the meat, onion, carrot, potato, salt and pepper and mix until thoroughly combined. Saute in large skillet to meld flavors until browning occurs. 
  6. Remove the biscuit rounds from the refrigerator.  Place the pastry circles on a clean work surface and place about 1/2 cup of the filling in the center of 1 side of the pastry. Using the beaten egg, brush the edges of the pastry and then bring the unfilled side over the filled side so that edges meet. Press edges together to seal and then crimp using your fingers or a fork. Repeat with the remaining turnovers and then transfer to a sprayed parchment lined baking sheet. Brush the tops of the turnovers with the remaining egg and then cut several slits into the top of each pastry.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown around the edges. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and continue to bake until the pasties are golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 to 10 minutes before serving.