Diva Tasting: Valentines Menu…

VALENTINE MENU

Lemon Chicken With Caper Sauce

Ingredients:

4 Chicken Breasts (skinless)
• 2/4 Cloves Garlic.
• 1 Tbsp Capers ( Rinsed)
• 2 Tbsp Chopped Parsley.
• Half Lemon Sliced.
• 1/4 Cup Lemon Juice.
• 1/2 Pint Chicken Stock.
• 5 Tbsp Olive Oil.
• 2 Tbsp Butter.
• Parsley For Garnish.

Directions:

  • Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess flour.
  • In a large skillet over a medium high heat add 3 tbsp olive oil. When the oil starts to sizzle, add 2 pieces of chicken and cook for 3 minutes.
  • When the chicken is browned, flip and cook the other side for 3 minutes. Remove and transfer to plate. Add another 2 tablespoons olive oil. When oil starts to sizzle, add the other 2 pieces of chicken and brown both sides in the same manner. Remove pan from heat and add chicken to the plate, set to one side.
  • Into the pan add the lemon juice, stock, capers and garlic.
  • Return to stove and bring to boil, scraping up brown bits from the pan for extra flavour.
  • Check for seasoning and add lemon slices and parsley.
  • Return all the chicken to the pan and simmer for 5/10 minutes depending on the size of breasts. Remove chicken to a platter.
  • Add 2 tablespoons butter to sauce and whisk vigorously. Pour sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley.
  • Serve with garlic mashed potatoes and roasted green beans; Chocolate Covered Strawberries for dessert.
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Diva Searching: Food for Thought….

I found this on Joseph Campbell’s website. I found the commentary interesting. Your food for thought for the day. Namaste, The Queen Cronista…

  • You must step out of your ignorance – Julius Fann, Jr.

  • Each and every individual’s reality and truth is bound in a system of God’s Law. A Law of the Spirit of life which has been alive beyond the ancient of days, and the first sentient being who projected the earth’s spirit energy, which carried over into souls today. Never has there been a created or non-created moment by any of these souls, nor a destiny predicted for any of them to follow except, the unconditioned law God has placed in their inward parts, and wrote in each individual heart.

    “You cannot serve two masters.” No individual can walk the earth leaving a trail of human intellectual beliefs, and believe they can escape the tension of continuous conflict between their soul and Spirit. And irrespective of how any individual human minds interpret religious doctrine, and what they believe it says. And no matter what an individual believe or adhere to, equal loyalty cannot be found believing God has set any Principle or Rule or Law different for one than another, or the living of ones life different, in the order of reciprocation in serving good nor evil, or God and man. Both must be sacrificed to the One Spirit of Righteousness in order to be filed with, and move through life in the power of the Holy Ghost.

    How does one distinguish? By realizing their beliefs are their behavior, just that, their behavior. Continuously one must ask of themselves in their contemplative meditations of thinking: “Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the High God?” To be aware of ones behavior is to be cognizant of the spiritual tone of ones life, and attitudes projected into the world of thoughts, by ones thoughts. Everything men do comes to them by thoughts unconditionally. Should a thought appear with the face of an angel or demon, why then cannot men see it in the exactness of what it is? a perception of subjective feelings, and objective visions in a world dependent upon the path taken, of kind, according to each wavelength of thought an individual has decides to pursue for themselves. Once decided, where does man’s footsteps begin and end? And will their steps lead them down the path of strength, or weakness, determination, or straddling the fence of indecision? Individuals always can change their direction of thinking by stepping over upon the conscience path of righteousness, compassion, mercy and unconditioned justice. Never, however, does man has the option to change the Principled Substance, nor Patterned Essence of the law of the Spirit of life. It is God’s Law, God’s Spirit’s movement which set bounds to human beliefs of where they can go in their vanity of thinking and believing God differentiates in His will towards His off-springs.

  • Quotes by Joseph Campbell

  • We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.

  • Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.

  • The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.

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Diva Tasting: Grandma’s Pot Roast…..

Grandma’s Beef Pot Roast

Ingredients

  • 2 Teaspoons Olive Oil
  • 4 Pounds Boneless Chuck Roast
  • 1 Onion, Chopped
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Sm Bag Baby Carrots
  • 5 Potatoes Rough Chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Heat a heavy Dutch oven on top of the stove over medium high heat. Add oil, and sear meat in the center of the pan for 4 minutes. Turn meat over with tongs; sear all sides for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Remove meat from pan. Arrange potatoes, carrots, onion, garlic, and 1 bay leaf in the bottom of the pan, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Return meat to pan, place remaining bay leaf on top of meat, and cover.
  3. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes at 325 degrees F. Reduce the heat to 300 degrees F, and cook for 2 hours. Remove roast to a platter to rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Slice, and top with vegetables, onions and gravy.
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Diva Tasting: Mrs McCarthy’s Award Winning Scones….

We are into the English Detectives.  One I just started watching is Father Brown, based on a character by G.K. Chesterton.  Each episode there is a comment about the parish secretary (Mrs. McCarthy’s) award winning strawberry scones.  Out of curiosity I looked and found one that is a supposed recipe for them.  I share my find with you.  Namaste, The Queen Cronista

Mrs McCarthy’s Award Winning Strawberry Scones  

Ingredients For Strawberry Scones

  1. ¾ Cup Of Buttermilk
  2. 1 Egg Beaten
  3. 2 Cups Of Flour
  4. 3 Tbs Granulated Sugar
  5. 1 Tbs + 1 Tsp Baking Powder
  6. ½ Tsp Salt
  7. 1/3 Cup Pure Amish Butter Butter = 5 1/3 Tbs Cut To Small Cubes
  8. Extra Flour For Dusting Table And Roller.
  9. 1-2 Tbs Granulated Sugar For Topping.
  10. 1 Jar Good Strawberry Preserves
  11. Fresh Strawberries Cored And Cut Into Quarters
  12. Clotted Cream Or Whipped Cream
  13. 1 Tbs Shortening For Baking Sheet

Directions for Strawberry Scones

Preheat oven to 425º.

In the bowl of a food processor with a pastry blade place the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter. Pulse until you have a mixture the consistency of cornmeal.

Empty into a mixing bowl. Place the buttermilk and egg into a measuring cup and beat the egg well, you should have approximately 1 cup of liquid, if not add a little more buttermilk. If more don’t worry the extra flour in the kneading process will take care of it.

Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and mix until all is combined.

Scrap out of bowl onto a well floured table and gently knead 5-6 times.

Gently roll out to a rectangle about ½ inch thick and using a round cookie cutter cut into rounds and place them on a lightly greased baking sheet.

Take remaining dough and gently pull together and roll out and cut until all the dough is used.

Lightly sprinkle sugar on top of all the scones.

Place the baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 12 minutes until very lightly browned.

Remove from the oven and place the scones on a wire rack to cool.

Assembly:

Cut the scones in half and lightly spread some preserve on the bottom on each.

Cut the quartered strawberries into 2 or 3 elongated slices and place as many on top of the preserve in a single layer as will fit.

Take the Clotted Cream and lightly stir to loosen and place a large dollop on top of the strawberries, smooth out slightly and top with the scone top. If you can’t find Clotted Cream use lightly sweetened whipped cream that is whipped quite stiff,

 

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Diva Musing: Legends….

Legends

All legend and history bears some truth with the use of the human tool of dramatic license.” Queen of the Cosmos. 

leg·end; ˈlejənd/noun

1. a traditional story sometimes popularly regarded as historical but unauthenticated.

“the legend of King Arthur”

“the man was a living legend”2. an extremely famous or notorious person, especially in a particular field.

My general formula for my students is “Follow your bliss.” Find where it is, and don’t be afraid to follow it.

Joseph Campbell
The Power of Myth
pp. 120, 149

I find folks make fun of me a lot because I believe in ethereal mediums, fairies, folklore and Santa Clause. I always tell them, “I believe in an unlimited Universe and believe with discernment!” It is much more fun knowing I can tap into the unlimited resources and energies of the God Made Universe if I am willing to open my mind, body and spirit to all that is out there available to each of us. It would be like someone handing out free money, no strings attached, and saying NO! Are you seriously going to do that? I choose an unlimited world. Your choices are up to you.

So in that light I like to research legends and folklore for fun and see if I can get at the background stories that created it in the first place. There’s no legend police or professor waiting to shoot me down. I do it for me, for fun. There is amazing history on legends and fairy tales.

I once read “Women Who Run With The Wolves” by Clarissa Pinkola Estés. Big book, great research into fairy tales and folklore. Find your fun belief and let no one keep you from the joy it brings. Just believe in yourself and the potential of that great big mind The Universe gave you. As all good stories say….THE END

Namaste, My Divas,

The Queen Cronista

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Diva Tasting: Beef and Vegetable Stew…

Beef And Vegetable Stew 

Ingredients

  • 2 Pounds Beef Stew Meat, Cut Into 1-Inch Pieces
  • 4 Cups Beef Broth
  • 1 Large Onion, Chopped
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 2 Potatoes, Cubed
  • 4 Cups Shredded Cabbage
  • 2 Celery Ribs, Sliced
  • 2 Carrots, Sliced
  • 1 (8 Ounce) Can Tomato Sauce
  • Sea Salt To Taste

Directions

  1. Cook and stir stew meat in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat until browned on all sides, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain any excess grease.
  2. Stir beef bouillon into beef broth in a bowl until dissolved; pour over stew meat. Add onion, black pepper, and bay leaf; cover and simmer until stew meat is very tender, at least 2 hours. Add potatoes, cabbage, celery, and carrot; cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, 30 to 45 more minutes.
  3. Stir tomato sauce and salt into the stew; simmer, uncovered, until tomato sauce is fully incorporated and flavors have blended, 15 to 20 minutes.
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Diva Tasting: Sausage Balls …

SAUSAGE BALLS: for starters

Ingredients:

1 lb hot sausage, uncooked (or any sausage you prefer)
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups Bisquick
8 oz cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400F.
Mix all ingredients until well combined. Roll into 1-inch balls. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until brown.
Sausage balls may be frozen uncooked. If baking frozen, add a few minutes to the baking time.
VARIATION: You can use Gluten Free Bisquick for those that are Celiac or eating Gluten Free!

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Diva Rambling: Follow Your Bliss…

We’d much rather talk bliss than NON-bliss.  Here are wise words and food for thought. 

Namaste, The Queen Cronista

Interview with Joseph Campbell Follow Your Bliss

BILL MOYERS: Do you ever have the sense of… being helped by hidden hands?

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: All the time. It is miraculous. I even have a superstition that has grown on me as a result of invisible hands coming all the time – namely, that if you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in your field of bliss, and they open doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.

* * *

Joseph Campbell was a life-long student and teacher of the human spirit and mythology–not just the mythology of cultures long dead, but of living myth, as it made itself known in the work of modern artists and philosophers–individuals who searched within themselves and their societies to identify the need about which they were passionate. He called this burning need that they sought to fulfill their bliss.

When Campbell died, just months after recording the interviews with Bill Moyers that were to become The Power of Myth, he had no idea how these interviews, and, in particular, this idea of following one’s bliss would resonate with the public. Within months of airing on PBS in the United States, the phrase “Follow Your Bliss” had become a catchphrase.

In 1990, the Joseph Campbell Foundation was created by Campbell’s colleagues and his widow, choreographer Jean Erdman. Its mission was (and is) to keep Campbell’s work moving forward, helping people learn about myth, and its relationship to religion, art and psychology, and trying to help them follow their bliss.

Yet it is important to note that following one’s bliss, as Campbell saw it, isn’t merely a matter of doing whatever you like, and certainly not doing simply as you are told. It is a matter of identifying that pursuit which you are truly passionate about and attempting to give yourself absolutely to it. In so doing, you will find your fullest potential and serve your community to the greatest possible extent.

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Wherever you are — if you are following your bliss, you are enjoying that refreshment, that life within you, all the time.

* * *

Now, I came to this idea of bliss because in Sanskrit, which is the great spiritual language of the world, there are three terms that represent the brink, the jumping-off place to the ocean of transcendence: sat-chit-ananda. The word “Sat” means being. “Chit” means consciousness. “Ananda” means bliss or rapture. I thought, “I don’t know whether my consciousness is proper consciousness or not; I don’t know whether what I know of my being is my proper being or not; but I do know where my rapture is. So let me hang on to rapture, and that will bring me both my consciousness and my being.” I think it worked.

Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth, pp. 113, 120

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Diva Tasting: Chicken Mac N Cheese…

Chicken Mac N Cheese

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 Lb. Macaroni
  • 4 C. Water
  • 1 Rotisserie Chicken Chopped
  • 1/4 C. Butter
  • 1 Tsp. Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp. Ground Mustard
  • 1/2 Tsp. Smoked Paprika
  • 1 (5-oz.) Can Evaporated Milk
  • 3 1/2 C. Shredded Cheddar
  • 2 C. Shredded Fontina
  • 1/2 C. Freshly Grated Parmesan
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • DIRECTIONS
  1. Add macaroni, water, butter, salt, mustard, and paprika to the bowl of your slow cooker.
  2. 2 Stir in evaporated milk and cheeses, Chicken and stir until fully combined. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
  3. Cook on Low in slow cooker for 6 hours until macaroni is tender.
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Diva Musing: Flu Season Tips

Trying to keep our divas healthy as always. I saw this and thought I’d pass along for your perusal …

Namaste, The Queen Cronista

5 Tips on Flu Season:  We are, in fact, solidly into flu season— according to the latest report, the flu is now rampant in 36 states in the US—and some of the sick really do have influenza.1 But it’s famously difficult to differentiate flu from other respiratory illnesses, and so, many end up treating the wrong sickness with the wrong strategy.

Here are some things you should know about the flu to help you make wise decisions about prevention and treatment.
1.The Flu Vaccine is More Useless Than Ever This Year. We’ve written in the past about how flu vaccines only work against certain strains of influenza, and there are many strains, meaning that even if you get the vaccine, it won’t protect you if you’re exposed to a type of flu not covered by the shot. Each year, scientists develop the vaccine ahead of flu season based on the strains of flu they anticipate will become problematic—but it’s a crapshoot, akin to predicting in July how many inches of snow Denver will receive the following January. Yes, there’s some science involved, but also a whole lot of guesswork. Some years the guessing game is more on target than others, although it’s usually off enough to make getting the vaccine of questionable use, at least in terms of preventing the flu. Plus, the flu virus mutates quickly, so even when the vaccine targets a particular strain correctly, it might have become something entirely different by the time you get exposed.2

This year, the efficacy of the vaccine is almost at the level of a joke.  It works against only 10 percent of flu strains currently active, meaning it has a 90 percent failure rate. To complicate matters further, it seems that this year’s vaccine isn’t even working well against the viruses correctly identified, because a problem in the vaccine’s production has been weakening one of the three targeted strains so that it fails to trigger the expected immune response.

Nevertheless, health officials continue to blast out the word that all should line up for the vaccine. Here’s a quote from the December 25 edition of Time Magazine. “So, should you try to survive the season without getting vaccinated? That’s not a good idea, say leading experts, since even if the vaccine is not effective against one strain, it will still protect you against other strains that may be making the rounds.”

Perhaps if you failed math class you’ll buy that logic.  On the other hand, as Jon Barron points out in his most recent newsletter, even if the vaccine doesn’t protect you from getting the flu, studies indicate it may help lessen symptoms if you do come down with it, and so it might be worth getting, according to your particular situation. Just don’t get the vaccine believing it provides ironclad protection against the flu, and remain aware of the risks and potential side effects. Again, read Jon’s newsletter for more information.

2. The Flu is Not Pneumonia, Nor Bronchitis, Nor a Head Cold. Although the flu and common colds share many respiratory symptoms, influenza tends to come on fast and furious, bringing temperatures over 100 degrees and miserable body aches, whereas colds rarely have associated high fevers and tend to be more about runny or stuffy noses and sneezing.3 Likewise, the flu can weaken you so that you become more susceptible to serious respiratory illnesses like pneumonia or bronchitis, and in fact, that’s a fairly common occurrence, particularly when the immune system isn’t in top shape to start with. But the flu is strictly a viral disease, meaning antibiotics are completely useless in combatting it. What they may protect you from is the opportunistic pneumonia we just talked about, which is primarily caused by the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae.

The only way to know for sure if you have some form of flu, rather than a cold or pneumonia, is to get a swab test. Ask your doctor to do the test if you aren’t sure what’s up with you. Experts say that if your cough or thick discharge lasts longer than a week or two, you’d better get to the doctor because you’ve probably developed a bacterial infection, and that’s where antibiotics may be of use. If it is, in fact, the flu and you get it diagnosed the first few days, the doctor might want you to take Tamiflu to lessen the symptoms. Then again, that too may be less effective than advertised.

3. Your Best Defense is Avoiding Exposure.  It might seem obvious, but you won’t get the flu if you’re not exposed to the germ. Of course, with the flu virus now infesting 36 states and spreading, your chances of exposure are excellent unless you stay inside with the shades drawn. But on the other hand, you can be a bit cautious. In other words, don’t go visiting friends and relatives who are bored and restless after being isolated with illness for days on end, who feed you the proverbial line, “I’m not contagious any longer.”  Or, “it’s only a head cold.” If you hear them coughing on the other end of the phone, you might be wise to take a rain check.

In fact, the flu is contagious the entire time symptoms are still present.4 It’s a myth that after a few days, it’s safe to be around someone who had a 101-degree fever just two days earlier and who still has a sore throat, or “just” body aches now. That’s why it’s so horrifying that people return to work as soon as the fever passes, coughing through meetings, that clinics issue “excuse notes” that only cover 48 hours given that the typical flu can last 10 days, and that people stroll down supermarket aisles and crowd into airplane seats “at the tail end” of their illness, still contagious.

You can’t do much about the sick folks in public places, but you can say no to a full evening with your sick pals.

4. Your Second-Best Defense is Bolstering Your Immune System. As Jon points out in his newsletter, it’s wise to use a  natural immune-enhancing formula  during flu season to keep your immune system at peak efficiency. Also, do remember to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after shaking hands, receiving money, touching keyboards or gym equipment or anything else that’s shared with potentially infected people. And most of all, don’t weaken your immune system by binging on sweets and treats and indulging in other unhealthy behaviors. Tis the season to be prudent.

5. Your Final Defense is to Attack Those Pathogens. Taking an anti-pathogenic formula heavy on garlic, ginger, olive leaf, liquid zinc, oil of oregano and other natural germ-killers when  you get sick can make the difference between ending up in the hospital versus just feeling miserable for a few days. In fact, such a formula can sometimes ward off the illness completely, if you catch it during the incubation phase when symptoms are first starting to appear.

Excerpted from: https://jonbarron.org/colds-flus-infectious-diseases/five-things-know-about-flu-season

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