Category Archives: Things That Make Us Happy!

Diva Tasting: Slow Roasted Chicken and Veggies

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Slow Roasted Chicken and Veggies

Ingredients

  • 1/4 Cup Unsalted Butter
  • 8 Bone-In Skin-On Chicken Thighs
  • 4 Potatoes, Peeled And Cut Into 1-Inch Cubes
  • 1 Small Bag of Baby Carrots
  • 2 Lbs Brussels Sprouts Halved
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Rosemary
  • 1 Teaspoon Fresh Lemon Thyme Leaves
  • 1 Teaspoon Tarragon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Seasoned Salt (such As Lawry’s(R))
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • Salt And Ground Black Pepper To Taste

Directions

  1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Place chicken in the melted butter, skin-side down; cook chicken skin in hot butter until beginning to brown and crisped, about 5 minutes.
  2. Flip chicken. Arrange potatoes, Carrots, and Brussels Sprouts around the chicken.
  3. Chop rosemary, tarragon, lemon and thyme together; Mix all herbs and spices together in a small bowl and stir to combine. Sprinkle the mixture over the chicken and vegetables. Make Sure to Season everything; Sprinkle with more salt and pepper if needed.
  4. Place a lid on the skillet and cook until chicken is no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear, 45 to 50 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted near the bone should read 165 degrees F.
  5. Transfer to Serving Platter and serve immediately with a side salad.
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Diva Tasting: Greek Lemon Chicken And Potatoes…

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Greek Lemon Chicken And Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 4 Pounds Skin-On, Bone-In Chicken Thighs
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Dried Oregano
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Basil
  • 1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Rosemary
  • 1 Pinch Cayenne Pepper
  • 2/3 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2/3 Cup Olive Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter
  • 6 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Bag of Yukon Fingerling Potatoes
  • 1 Cup Chicken Broth, Plus Splash To Deglaze Pan
  • Chopped Fresh Tarragon or Basil For Garnish

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly oil a large roasting pan lined with foil.
  2. Place chicken pieces in large bowl. Season with salt, oregano, pepper, rosemary, basil, and cayenne pepper. Add fresh lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic. Place potatoes in bowl with the chicken; stir together until chicken and potatoes are evenly coated with marinade.
  3. Transfer chicken pieces, skin side up, to prepared roasting pan, reserving marinade. Distribute potato pieces among chicken thighs. Drizzle with 2/3 cup chicken broth. Spoon remainder of marinade over chicken and potatoes.
  4. Place in preheated oven. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Toss chicken and potatoes, keeping chicken skin side up; continue baking until chicken is browned and cooked through, about 25 minutes more. An instant-read thermometer inserted near the bone should read 165 degrees. Transfer chicken to serving platter and keep warm.
  5. Set oven to broil or highest heat setting. Toss potatoes once again in pan juices. Place pan under broiler and broil until potatoes are caramelized, about 3 minutes. Transfer potatoes to serving platter with chicken.
  6. Place roasting pan on stove over medium heat. Add a splash of broth and stir up browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Spoon juices over chicken and potatoes. Top with chopped oregano.
  7. Serve with Roasted Fennel and Croissant

 


					

Diva Musing: What about Spirit?

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Article # 3: What about Spirit

In the previous article, I indicated we would be looking into ‘the mind’ next. I decided this was perhaps not the best order of topics, so we will take a peek at “spirit”.

The word “spirit”, from the Latin spiritus, refers to “breath”, which was taken from the Greek “pneuma”.

Spirit may be thought of as Essential Energy — present everywhere, eternal, un-changeable. Let us think of Energy also as Light and also as Love, as in the Light of Love. Light is an attribute of Spirit. Love is an attribute of Spirit. This analogy may not be perfect but we may find it helpful and we need all the help we can get in order to talk about something that is not readily visible nor readily discernable by the senses of our bodies.

There is no good Energy or bad Energy, no negative and no positive Energy. There is only Energy. Negative Energy is a mistaken identification, simply a misunderstanding. What we used to think of as negative Energy turns out to be a temporary observation where a limited ‘time-space’ appears to have less Energy when compared to another ‘time-space’ that appears to have more Energy.

The intensity of Energy appears temporarily less here and temporarily more there. We have mistakenly described these observations as ‘this place has negative Energy while that other place has positive Energy. This is simply a misnomer, a mis-understanding, a mis-take.

Perception, that which the body’s eyes can see, is not Truth. Perception may show us that the magician has just sawed a lady in half, and then, somehow, managed to put her back together again. This is not Truth. The lady was never sawed in half, it only looked that way. It was only perceived that way. It never really happened at all.

Perception can be easily deceived. The old saying, “seeing is believing”, is inaccurate. “Believing is Seeing” is far more relevant.

Energy is simply Energy, Spirit is simply Spirit, it is as simple as that. Neither positive nor negative, it simply is. The ‘Law of Conservation of Energy’ implies that Energy cannot be created or destroyed. Energy is eternal and unchangeable, having always been, always will be. Its form may change, but the Energy remains the un-changed. By considering Energy as Light, it may be easier to see how Light, how Spirit, expresses Itself.

Giving and receiving are united, they only appear separate to separate minds who see everything as separate from themselves.

Giving is proof of having. We cannot give what we do not have. By giving the Light of Love, this Light returns to us, and lovingly witnesses to us that we have given It.

  • Spirit is Source. Spirit shares It’s Light because that is how It expresses Itself.

  • Spirit knows only Truth, being only Truth. It is from Truth that Mind receives It’s inspiration.

  • Spirit inspires. The Mind focuses this inspiration to manifest in the physical world.

Our next article will be about the ‘Mind-mind’ and how we use it for making mistakes or for correcting, forgiving, them. The choice is always open for us to decide.

http://foundationforwellbeing.org/mind-thoughts-thinking.php

Diva Musing: Fire…

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Fire is perhaps the most horrible natural devastation on the planet.
My heart and prayers goes out to the people of California; Orange County  who lost homes, pets and family in the raging fires.

I got good news this morning that my entire diva brigade in OC was safe along with their houses and pets.  I hope many of you received the same good news. 

I pray that you all remain safe and I pray for your quick healing and return to normal as soon as possible.

Namaste, The Queen Cronista

Diva Musing: What About Spirit…

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I was asked to post this again so here it is.  Namaste…
Article # 3: What about Spirit
In the previous article, I indicated we would be looking into ‘the mind’ next. I decided this was perhaps not the best order of topics, so we will take a peek at “spirit”.
The word “spirit”, from the Latin spiritus, refers to “breath”, which was taken from the Greek “pneuma”.
Spirit may be thought of as Essential Energy — present everywhere, eternal, un-changeable. Let us think of Energy also as Light and also as Love, as in the Light of Love. Light is an attribute of Spirit. Love is an attribute of Spirit. This analogy may not be perfect but we may find it helpful and we need all the help we can get in order to talk about something that is not readily visible nor readily discernable by the senses of our bodies.
There is no good Energy or bad Energy, no negative and no positive Energy. There is only Energy. Negative Energy is a mistaken identification, simply a misunderstanding. What we used to think of as negative Energy turns out to be a temporary observation where a limited ‘time-space’ appears to have less Energy when compared to another ‘time-space’ that appears to have more Energy.
The intensity of Energy appears temporarily less here and temporarily more there. We have mistakenly described these observations as ‘this place has negative Energy while that other place has positive Energy. This is simply a misnomer, a mis-understanding, a mis-take.
Perception, that which the body’s eyes can see, is not Truth. Perception may show us that the magician has just sawed a lady in half, and then, somehow, managed to put her back together again. This is not Truth. The lady was never sawed in half, it only looked that way. It was only perceived that way. It never really happened at all.
Perception can be easily deceived. The old saying, “seeing is believing”, is inaccurate. “Believing is Seeing” is far more relevant.
Energy is simply Energy, Spirit is simply Spirit, it is as simple as that. Neither positive nor negative, it simply is. The ‘Law of Conservation of Energy’ implies that Energy cannot be created or destroyed. Energy is eternal and unchangeable, having always been, always will be. Its form may change, but the Energy remains the un-changed. By considering Energy as Light, it may be easier to see how Light, how Spirit, expresses Itself.
Giving and receiving are united, they only appear separate to separate minds who see everything as separate from themselves.
Giving is proof of having. We cannot give what we do not have. By giving the Light of Love, this Light returns to us, and lovingly witnesses to us that we have given It.
  • Spirit is Source. Spirit shares It’s Light because that is how It expresses Itself.
  • Spirit knows only Truth, being only Truth. It is from Truth that Mind receives It’s inspiration.
  • Spirit inspires. The Mind focuses this inspiration to manifest in the physical world.
Our next article will be about the ‘Mind-mind’ and how we use it for making mistakes or for correcting, forgiving, them. The choice is always open for us to decide.
http://foundationforwellbeing.org/mind-thoughts-thinking.php

Diva Tasting: Chef John’s Beef And Guinness(R) Stew

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I always enjoy recipes by Chef John.  Almost as much as I do the Queen Cronista.  This one is particularly good for celebrations or just winter comfort food. 

Beef And Guinness(R) Stew

Ingredients

  • 4 Slices Bacon, Cut Into Small Pieces

  • 2 1/2 Pounds Boneless Beef Chuck, Cut Into 2-Inch Pieces

  • 1 Teaspoon Salt, Or More To Taste

  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper To Taste

  • 2 Onions, Coarsely Chopped

  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt

  • 4 Cloves Garlic, Minced

  • 1 (14.9 Ounce) Can Dark Beer (such As Guinness(R))

  • 1/4 Cup Tomato Paste

  • 4 Sprigs Fresh Thyme

  • 3 Carrots, Cut Into 1-Inch Pieces

  • 2 Stalks Celery, Cut Into 1-Inch Pieces

  • 1 Teaspoon White Sugar

  • 1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper, Or To Taste

  • 3 Cups Chicken Stock, Or As Needed To Cover

  • 4 Cups Mashed Potatoes (optional)

Directions

  1. Cook and stir bacon in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat until bacon is browned and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn off heat and transfer bacon into a large stew pot, reserving bacon fat in the skillet.

  2. Season beef chuck cubes generously with 1 teaspoon salt and black pepper to taste. Turn heat to high under skillet and sear beef pieces in the hot fat on both sides until browned, about 5 minutes. Place beef in stew pot with bacon, leaving fat in skillet. Turn heat down to medium; cook and stir onions in the retained fat in the skillet until lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes; season with a large pinch of salt.

  3. Cook garlic with onions until soft, about 1 minute; pour beer into skillet and stir with a wooden spoon, scraping up and dissolving any browned bits of food into the liquid. Pour cooking liquid from skillet into the stew pot. Stir in tomato paste, thyme sprigs, carrots, celery, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and enough chicken broth to cover.

  4. Bring stew to a gentle simmer, stirring to combine; reduce heat to low and cover pot. Simmer stew until beef is fork-tender, about 2 hours. Stir stew occasionally and skim fat or foam if desired.

  5. Remove cover and raise heat to medium-high. Bring stew to a low boil and cook until stew has slightly thickened, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and discard thyme sprigs and adjust salt and pepper to taste.

  6. Arrange mashed potatoes in a ring in a serving bowl; ladle stew into the center of the potatoes.

Recipe By:Chef John

“The maltiness of dark beer really does amazing things for this gravy. It’s a very simple dish, but at the same time it has a deep, complex, rich flavor. I served this in a nice ring of green onion-mashed potatoes. I hope you give this a try, whether for St. Patrick’s Day or anytime of the year.”

Diva Musing: The Watering Hole…

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After I meditate and leave for the day, I usually eat a light breakfast before work… as I often don’t get to stop, even for a comfort break, all day.  Recently I’ve started going to the Taco Bell near here.  I sit and send my morning motivational texts to friends and family, while listening to music from the 50-60’s which won’t mean much to you younger lot.  However,  I smile and enjoy some of the best coffee ever and ease slowly into my day; thanking the Universe for making such a great way for me to start my mornings.

How about you my “Divakind”? How do you you ease into your day?  Are you kind to your self?  Believe me it makes the day go better and you get more done.

Namaste The Queen Cronista…

Diva Musing: Dalai Lama…

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As our world continues to rage out of control, I felt the ever encouraging words of the Dalai Lama would be food for the heart.  Nurture the heart and the rest will follow…
Namaste, The Queen Cronista
The Dalai Lama has some very insightful verses. I’ve gathered my favorite quotes from the Tibetan leader about a variety of topics such as love, compassion, peace, humanity, violence, and the environment. It’s a very interesting read. Enjoy  :
1- Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.
2- If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them.
3- If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.
4- My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.
5- Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
6- The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual’s own reason and critical analysis.
7- We can live without religion and meditation, but we cannot survive without human affection.
8- We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.
9- Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.
10- If you have fear of some pain or suffering, you should examine whether there is anything you can do about it. If you can, there is no need to worry about it; if you cannot do anything, then there is also no need to worry.
11- If you don’t love yourself, you cannot love others. You will not be able to love others. If you have no compassion for yourself then you are not able of developing compassion for others.
12- Human potential is the same for all. Your feeling, “I am of no value”, is wrong. Absolutely wrong. You are deceiving yourself. We all have the power of thought – so what are you lacking? If you have willpower, then you can change anything. It is usually said that you are your own master.
13- We must recognize that the suffering of one person or one nation is the suffering of humanity. That the happiness of one person or nation is the happiness of humanity.
14- Through violence, you may ‘solve’ one problem, but you sow the seeds for another.
15- As people alive today, we must consider future generations: a clean environment is a human right like any other. It is therefore part of our responsibility toward others to ensure that the world we pass on is as healthy, if not healthier, than we found it.
16- To conquer oneself is a greater victory than to conquer thousands in a battle.
17- There is a saying in Tibetan, “Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.”
No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.
18- The creatures that inhabit this earth-be they human beings or animals-are here to contribute, each in its own particular way, to the beauty and prosperity of the world.
19- A spoon cannot taste of the food it carries. Likewise, a foolish man cannot understand the wise man´s wisdom even if he associates with a sage.
20- In our struggle for freedom, truth is the only weapon we possess.

https://ineedmotivation.com/20-wise-quotes-from-the-dalai-lama/

Diva Rambling: Elderberry…winter health helper….

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I’m trying to get us all thinking wellness for winter.  Elderberry elixir and cough drops (I order online) were very helpful to me the last couple of winters.  When all the Teachers & Student were home with the flu I was not.  I think the elder helped make that possible.  I’ve always had a great immune system until I move here 5 years ago.  I’m guessing serious trauma and head injury messed it up somewhat.  So I do wellness care to keep things on track.  Here is one you may want to consider for your tool box as well.  Wishing wellness to all of our divas.  Namaste, The Queen Cronista….
Elderberry Benefits: Elder Blossoms as Herbal Medicine
http://www.herbalremediesadvice.org/rosalee-de-la-foret.html
Elderflowers have many uses, but they particularly shine in two areas: for fevers and to promote healthy skin. While that may seem an odd pairing, it’s not uncommon that herbs acting as relaxing diaphoretics also support the physiological functions of skin health
In my northern climate, elderberry distinctly marks each season. By late winter and early spring, the elderberry bush begins to leaf out, greening the landscape with its plentiful leaves. As summer approaches, it briefly breaks into a profusion of white blooms. During this season you can easily distinguish the shrubs from other green growths. Take note of where they are! By late summer and early fall, the shrubs will be dripping in heavy bunches of berries. While I love elderflower for medicine, the berries remain one of my favorite herbal medicines of all. 
People have been using the elder herb for thousands of years for food, medicine, and tools. It has a rich folklore and has long been associated with the faery worlds, death, and rebirth. It is still highly revered today as one of our most powerful herbs for preventing and treating colds and influenza. 
Herbalists are not the only ones who are recognizing the amazing benefits of elderberry. Numerous clinical trials have been done with the berries and in 2013 the first international conference on elder was held in Columbia, Missouri. The goal of the conference was to “raise elderberry to the scientific level it deserves.”
John Evelyn, writing in praise of the Elder, says: ‘If the medicinal properties of its leaves, bark and berries were fully known, I cannot tell what our countryman could ail for which he might not fetch a remedy from every hedge, either for sickness, or wounds.’
– Maude Grieve, 
A Modern Herbal
Elderberry Benefits: History and Folklore of Elderberry Uses
There is a long history of elderberry uses in Europe. Archaeological excavations show large numbers of seeds at prehistoric sites, indicating elders were consumed during the Magdalenian era, which was 17,000 to 12,000 BP. It’s been hypothesized that the wood was probably used as well for making tools.1 
Excavations have revealed ceremonial flint spearheads that were modeled after elder leaves, giving us the insight that the elder was probably revered then as it is now. 
Elderberry shrubs were an important plant for the Celtic people. Celtic druids made flutes from elder to communicate with the souls of dead people. Celtic myth says that the spirits of the forest dwell in the hollow wood of the elder tree and that the white blooms in the spring symbolize the reincarnation of the dead. 
During the spring in Austria and in the north of England, people would leave elder cuttings on graves. If the branches flowered then that meant the soul of the dead had joined paradise. Luckily, elder grows really well from cuttings! 
Historically, almost every part of the elder bush was used for medicine, including the flowers, berries, leaves, and bark. This article will specifically look at using elder blossoms and elder berries.
Elderberry Benefits: Elder flowers as a Relaxing Diaphoretic
While mainstream culture often reaches for a pill for fevers, herbalists recognize many types of fevers and use a variety of herbs based on the kind of fever a person has. 
Elderflowers excel for fevers when the person feels hot, is agitated or tense, and isn’t sweating. Drinking the warm tea encourages the capillaries to open up, thus helping to dispel excess heat from the body. A traditional tea remedy for fever that is still common today includes a blend of elderflowers, peppermint, and yarrow
While elderflowers are ideal for this particular type of fever, I wouldn’t hesitate to use them in other feverish cold and influenza situations. The tea blend mentioned above is many people’s favorite tea to take at the onset of a cold or flu to help them shorten the duration of the sickness. 
An almost infallible cure for an attack of influenza in its first stage is a strong infusion of dried Elder Blossoms and Peppermint. Put a handful of each in a jug, pour over them a pint and a half of boiling water, allow to steep, on the stove, for half an hour then strain and sweeten and drink in bed as hot as possible. Heavy perspiration and refreshing sleep will follow, and the patient will wake up well on the way to recovery and the cold or influenza will probably be banished within thirty-six hours. Yarrow may also be added.
– Maude Grieve, 
A Modern Herbal
Like most diaphoretics, when taken as a cool tea rather than a hot one, the diuretic effect is more pronounced, encouraging the healthy flow of urine. 

Diva Tasting: Southern Stew with Attitude and Cinnamon Apple Pie Cups…

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Southern Stew With Attitude
Ingredients
  • 6 Quarts Beef or Vegetable Broth
  • 3/4 Cup Bay Seasoning (Allow 2 tablespoons of seasoning per quart of liquid.)
  • 2 Pounds Fingerling Potatoes
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic Minced
  • 1 Lg Bag Baby Carrots
  • 3 Pounds Smoked Kielbasa Links, Cut Into 2 Inch Pieces
  • 1 Head Cabbage Rough Chopped (core removed)
  • 12 Ears Corn – Husked, Cleaned And Quartered
  • 4 Pounds Large Fresh Shrimp, Unpeeled
Directions
  1. Bring broth, Bay Seasoning to boil in a large stockpot. Add garlic and stir.
  2. Add potatoes, cabbage and carrots cook for 15 minutes. Add sausage and cook for 5 minutes more. Add corn and cook for another 15 minutes. Stir in the shrimp and cook until shrimp are pink, about 5 minutes. Serve with cornbread and potato salad.
Apple Pie Cups
Ingredients
1 Can (13 Oz) Refrigerated Flaky Cinnamon Rolls With Butter Cream Icing
2 Cups Fruit Apple Pie Filling (from 21-Oz Can), Coarsely Chopped
1/2 Cup Light Brown Sugar
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
Pinch Nutmeg
Steps
1 Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 8 regular-size muffin cups with cooking spray. Set icing aside. Separate dough into 8 rolls. Press into and up sides of muffin cups. Combine chopped pie filling, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl and mix until blended.
2 Spoon 2 generous tablespoons pie filling into each dough-lined cup.
3 Bake 14 to 18 minutes or until golden brown; cool in pan 5 minutes.
4 Transfer icing to small microwavable bowl. Microwave uncovered on Low (10%) 8 to 10 seconds or until thin enough to drizzle. Place rolls on serving plate; spoon icing over rolls. Serve warm.