Leftover Chicken Soup

Tonight’s dinner was quick and easy, made from about a half left over chicken. We had grabbed one of those whole roasted chickens at the store and had it with ceaser salad last night.

Leftover Chicken Soup
1/2 a chicken, cooked, deboned and chopped roughly
3 cups water
1/2 onion, chopped roughly
1-2 cups of a veggie (carrots, cabbage, celery, lettuce, potatoe, taro, water chestnuts, bamboo) chopped appropriately
1 package instant onion soup mix
3 tablespoons soy sauce
4 bundles of mung bean noodles
1 tablespoon miso paste

Put soup mix, onion, veggies, soy sauce and water in the pot, bring to a boil. Add chicken and noodles, return to a boil. Boil about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in miso paste. Let rest a few minutes and enjoy.

It is a really simply recipe. Tonight I substituted garlic and herb soup mix for the onion instead. You could use any noodle you like, even ramen. I keep the fridge full of tupperware stocked with pre-chopped veggies. So it took me almost 9 minutes to prepare dinner.

Chicken and Pork Adobo

It is hot here! Like I could fry eggs on the hood of my car hot. The old-folk talk not only consists of who died, but of who got heat stroke. So, in longing for colder climes and the days when my crock pot bubbles up warm, hearty soups I am cleaning up my recipes. Here is a yummy recipe for Adobo

Chicken and Pork Adobo
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup water
2-8 cloves peeled and crushed garlic
2 teaspoons salt
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
1 lb chicken thighs
2 lbs pork butt, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 Tb soy sauce
A little bit of vegetable oil

Put everything but the oil in the crock pot and cover. Cook on high for about 2 hours, or low for about 4-6. Whatever it takes your crock pot to get the meat to melt-away soft.

Pour out the sauce into a skillet and reduce. If you are in a hurry you can also just stir in some thickener. Put the oil over the meat in the crock and pop in the oven under the broiler to brown it. When the sauce is thickened and the meat is brown, pour the sauce over the meat and serve hot or cold with rice and tortillas. Keeps fine when made ahead, it is great the next day too.

You might notice my recipe calls for no chili or other hot spice. That is because I have a pepper allergy. So if you want to add chili powder or other peppers, feel free.

Foods and Their Magical Associations

Fruits, Vegetables and Greens
Alfalfa sprouts : Providence, Sustenance
Apple : Peace, Love, Health, Earth magick
Apricot : Romance
Artichoke : Growth, Safety
Banana : Heroic energy, Male sexuality
Beets : Passion, Love, Beauty
Blueberry : Peace, Calm
Broccoli : Strength, Leadership, Physical improvements
Brussel sprouts : Endurance, Tenacity, Stability
Carrot : Vision, Masculine energies
Cauliflower : Lunar/water-related magick
Celery : Passion, Grounding, peace
Cherry : Love, Female sexuality
Coconut : Diversity, Flexibility, Spirituality
Corn : Life of the land, Cycles, Eternity
Cranberry : Energy for security and protection
Dandelion : Divination, Foresight, Oracles
Date : Resurrection, Eternity, Spirit
Garlic : Hex breaking, Banishing, Protection
Grape : Dreams, Vision, Fertility
Grapefruit : Purification, Health
Guava : Romance, Fantasy, Relieving sorrow
Horseradish : Protection, Fiery energy
Lemon : Longevity, Purification, Marriage, Joy, Faithfulness
Lettuce : Financial magick, Peace, Relaxation
Lime : Cleansing
Olive : Peace, Spiritual pursuits
Onion : Protection
Orange : Health, Fidelity, Love
Passion Fruit : Promoting kinship and love
Pear : Longevity, Luck
Peas : Goddess Magick, Love
Peppers, green : Growth, Prosperity
Peppers, red : Energy, Vitality, Strength
Peppers, yellow : Empowered creativity
Pineapple : Healing, Protection, Prosperity
Pomegranate : Fruitfulness, Hospitality, Wishes
Potato : Folk medicine, Health, Grounding, Earth magic
Quince : Happiness
Raspberry : Vigor, Stamina, Love
Strawberry : Zest, Intensity, Romance
Sweet Potato : Well founded, gentle love
Tomato : Attracting love

Herbs and Spices
Allspice : Luck, Health
Bay : Psychic powers, Strength and health
Caraway : Protection from theft and negativity, Trust
Cardamon : Increase the strength of unions/partnerships
Catnip : Rest, Joy, Cat magick
Chives : Protection, Breaking bad habits
Clove : Stolen kisses, Fun love, Protection, Piercing illusions
Coriander : Love, Well-being, Intelligence
Dill : Protecting children
Ginger : Health, Cleansing, Vibrant energy, Zeal
Lavender : Spiritual vision, Acknowledgement, Comfort
Parsley : Luck, Protection from accidents
Pepper, black : Cleansing, Purification, Protection, Banishing
Saffron : Bounty, Leadership, Prosperity
Salt : Cleansing, Purification, Grounding

Grains, Nuts and Legumes
Barley : Love, Controlling pain of any nature
Beans : Divination, Prosperity, Decision-making
Hazelnut : Wisdom, Fertility
Oats : Life of the land, Prosperity, Sustenance
Peanut : Earth magic, Male energy
Rice : Abundant blessings, Fertility
Walnut : Mental faculties

Edible Flowers
Carnation : Pride, Beauty
Chrysanthemum : Longevity, Ease, Vigor
Clover : Triple god and or goddess
Cowslip : Faerie magick, Grace
Daisy : Innocence, Fidelity, Dawn, New beginnings
Elder flower : Protection from Fey, Blessing, Wishes
Hyacinth : Reliability, Constancy
Lilac : Love, Youth, Joy, Fastidiousness
Marigold : Cares, Burdens, Change, Luck in love
Orange flower : Purity, Faithfulness, Fruitfulness
Pansy : Glee, Fancy, Fondness, Fairy folk
Rose : Love, Faithfulness, Friendship
Tulip : Declaration of love
Violet : Grace, Modesty, Excellence, Expression

Miscellaneous
Baking soda/powder : Raising energy or expectations
Beef : Prosperity, Grounding
Bread : Kinship, Sustenance
Butter : Tenacity, Smoothing relationships
Cake : Celebration, Joyous occasions, Hospitality
Cheese : Joy, Health, Things coming to fruition, Reinforcement of personal or spiritual groundwork
Chicken : Health, Well-being, Sunrise magick
Chocolate : Lifting emotions, Love
Clams : Increase sexual desires, Secrets revealed
Coffee : Energy, Alertness, Mental awareness
Cookies : Maternal instincts, Nurturing love
Corn syrup : Solidifying plans or ideas
Deer : Elegance, Grace, Refinement
Eggs : Fertility, Mysticism, Ancient questions
Fish : Strengthen psychic awareness, expand ability to give and receive love
Flour : Revealing hidden matters, Consistency
Gravy : Smooth transitions, Consistency, Uniformity
Ham : Theatrical flair, Dramatic energy
Hazel : Wishes, Good fortune
Jelly : Joy, Energy, Pleasantness
Juice : Rejuvenation, Vitality, Energy
Lamb : Sensitivity, Kindness, Warmth
Lobster : Reincarnation, Rebirth, Growth
Milk : Goddess energy, Maternal instinct, Nurturing
Mustard : Faith, Mental alertness
Popcorn : Lifting burdens, Recreational activities
Pork : Fertility, Profuseness
Relish : Protection (dill), Enhanced passion (sweet)
Sausage : Zest, Variety, God magick
Soup : Steady change and improved communication
Syrup : Tree magick, Amiable meetings
Tea : Divination, Insight, Meditation, Restfulness
Turkey : Colorful displays, Holiday feasts, Family gatherings
Waffles : Gathering or reserving amiable feelings, Accommodation
Wine : Celebration, Joy, Honoring positive actions
Yogurt : Health, Spirituality, Goddess magick

Summer freezing

Oh I just love the taste of summer! Fresh tomatoes,  fresh basil, fresh oregano, fresh rosemary. Are you sensing a theme here?

Freshness is so wonderful in the summer. And having a garden, I experience abundance in a very literal way. My gardens over flow with produce in the summer and fall. I harvest herbs daily, many of them I turn into the wonderful blends, oils and potions I sell here on the website. But I also bring plenty of them into my kitchen to cook with.

When winter comes around and snow covers the garden, I am thankful for the herbs I have stashed away in my freezer.

To freeze woody or hard herbs, such a rosemary, thyme, oregano, sage, tarragon, etc. I love to put them in a fat base and put them in the freezer. I prefer olive oil or butter, they work equally well.

Chop up your herbs, you can keep them seperate or mix them. Fill an ice cube tray about 2/3rds or 3/4trs full with the herbs. If some stick out, it is no big deal. Then pour in either olive oil, or melted butter. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the freezer over night.

The next day pop them out of the ice cube trays and put in a freezer bag. Date and label and wait for winter!

These are great to saute onions and garlic in. They are wonderful to put into homemade bread, or on homemade bread. They make a handy base for meats in the crock pot. And they can just be dropped into soups and stews.

For other herbs that are soft such as basil, parsley and chives. I freeze them in oil too, but the taste will change. For these herbs I prefer to make a paste out of them, similar to pesto. Load up the food processor with hand fulls of your herbs. Again, mix or seperate as you prefer. Then put in just a little bit of olive oil and a tablespoon of lemon juice and process away. If the mix is on the dry side, drizzle in the olive oil as it runs until you have a paste. You can use melted butter too, just make sure it is fairly cool, as too hot will cook the herbs.

To put these in ice cube trays, I find it helps to grease the trays a bit. Just swipe them with some olive oil, then scoop in your paste. Again cover with plastic wrap and freeze over night. In the morning, bag, date and label.

The lemon juice helps keep the brightness of the herb flavor. Not exactly the same as fresh, but still wonderful for winter.

An Encyclopedic Friend

 

Do you have one of those people in your circle of friends who seems to know all the odd trivia? They have an answer for everything, and odd little bits to insert into any conversation.

I am one of those people. I get random phone calls, emails, and instant messages asking various questions all day. It has always intrigued me where these questions come from, and why the person is asking. Now, I do not claim to be the omniscient being of fancy. On occasion I don’t know the answer, so I go look it up. Then I know for the future.

Some of the questions I have answered today:

What is tiramisu?

Well, only heaven on a plate. It is an Italian cake dessert. You take lady fingers and dip them in coffee, then layer them with marscapone cheese (whipped with cream and egg yolks). Drip the whole thing over with a chocolate liquer and sprinkle with cocoa powder. Here is a recipe.

How many miles in a league?

About three and a half. The calculator says precisely 3.45233834 miles.

What is entropy?

Entropy is why ice melts, and ice baths stop cooking vegetables. It is a thermodynamic principle that causes heat to seek a level, like water seeks a level due to gravity. Cold is only an absence of heat, so when something hot comes into contact with something cold, the heat evens out with both bodies becoming the same temperature. Since heat is simply the presence of molecules vibrating or moving at a higher frequency, the transfer of energy at this molecular level spreads out the heat, and tadaa! entropy.

What is the difference between a cigar and a cigarillo?

Cigarillos are sort of like little cigarette sized cigars. They are wrapped in whole tobacco leaf like a cigar, not paper like a cigarette. They are much smaller than cigars though and are known on the continent as seven minute cigars. Cigarillos are however often machine made, where as a good cigar (and who wants a cheap cigar?) is rolled and packed by hand. Since cigarillos are often smoked like cigarettes, they are packaged similarly and are not stored in humidors. They are a lower quality product that a cigar, and the price reflects that. But they are closer to a cigar than a cigarette can ever hope to be.

How is ozone made?

Ozone is when there are three oxygen atoms together in one molecule. Oxygen, which is two oxygen atoms in one molecule floating around in the stratosphere is struck by ultra-violet rays (at the right velocity and angle), this splits the molecule into two free oxygen atoms, which then attach to existing 2 atom oxygen molecules, hence producing ozone. Ozone is naturally made and destroyed in the stratosphere. Without pollution, the planet maintains a balance of creation and depletion that keeps the ozone layer fairly consistent, but not constant. As the thickness and concentration varies based on the location and temperature.

and What does skullcap do?
In short answer, it grows. But you probably mean more than that. Medicinally speaking it is considered antispasmodic, slightly astringent, diuretic, nervine, sedative and strongly tonic. It has been used to treat various problems of the nervous system including epilepsy, insomnia, anxiety, delirium tremens, withdrawal from barbiturates and tranquillizers, and neuralgia. It is also used for calming and relieving stress, promoting suppressed menstruation, relieving breast pain and encouraging expulsion of the placenta. Due to its strong action on the uterus it is not recommended for use during pregnancy, as it can cause abortion. Use with caution, causes giddiness, stupor, confusion and twitching, in excess.

Magically speaking Skullcap is used for love, fidelity, and attracting money. Fidelity is an interesting use here, as it is the sort of ‘stay with me, or pay the price’ kind of fidelity. I include attracting money, as it is given as a traditional association, but I much prefer bay leaves and lodestone for that myself. For its use in love magic, it is a stupor of love, being lost in a glamour and a haze. It is most often used for sleep and connection with Mercurial entities. Providing you are only using a pinch, and have other appropriate herbs, I do like a bit of skullcap in my dream pillows. Especially if they are for prophetic dreaming. And, it goes great in small doses in incense designed to put you in touch with the Mercurial spirits. Combine with mugwort for such uses.

But, who really needs an encyclopedic friend like me around these days with google?

Green Goddess Dressing

This dressing is tangy and tasty and is fabulous for using smidgeons or overflowing hand fulls of fresh herbs from your garden.

It was originally created in the 1920’s in San Francisco. Named for the hit play of the time The Green Goddess. Many modern day versions include avocado in the recipe, but it originally was not there. This recipe is pretty flexible, so feel free to muck about with it.

This is great on salads, with grilled or fresh veggies, on fish and makes chicken or tuna salad really quick and easy.

INGREDIENTS
  • About a 1/2 cup of parsley leaves. Try to cut out the stems
  • About a 1/4 cup of fresh tarragon, stripped off the stem
  •  2-4 tablespoons of fresh chives
  • 1-8 garlic cloves (I like garlic, so I use 8, but if you are not a garlic lover, you can tone it down, but don’t omit it)
  • About a 1/2 cup of fresh basil
  • Any other herbs you come up with while in the garden 🙂
  • 2 anchovies. Your dressing won’t taste fishy, just put them in and trust me.
  • 1 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
INSTRUCTIONS
Put everything in a blender or food processor. It seems to work best for me if the herbs go in first, and the mayo and lemon juice go in on top. Blend it until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add more lemon juice if you would like it thinner. Store in the fridge until needed. It is best to let it sit overnight to let the flavors blend. But I know there are days I can’t wait.