Thursday, June 28, 2012

Chocolate Roses

I recently read a post on Plant Journeys about making skin oil with coconut oil and roses; and the most interesting part of the post to me was using the strained rose leaves to make chocolate treats! You can read her process and recipe by following the link.

So I had to make it for myself. I don't have an actual recipe to share, as this was one of those moments that I was "in the zone" and not measuring, but I can describe my process. 

I put the strained, chopped rose petals and some chocolate in the top of a double boiler. ( I chopped the rose petals before steeping them in the coconut oil, and my double boiler is just two small pots, one on top of the other, with the simmering water on the bottom.) I added a splash more coconut oil. As the chocolate melted I added some chopped pecans, a few spoonfuls of pomegranate juice, and a pinch of cardamon. Once it was all mushy, I spread it out in a pan lined with waxed paper. Then I put the pan in the fridge so the mixture would harden, at which point I broke it into pieces and stored it in a sealed container back in the fridge. I'm down to the last two pieces, so I'm going to have to make some more!

Addendum: I found my original bit of paper where I wrote down quantities; so it was 1/2 cup chocolate to 2 cups strained rose mast (soaked in coconut oil), another 1/8 cup coconut oil, 1 tsp. of the juice. 

One of my goals for 2013 is to become more organized and keep all my recipes and formulations in one spot.

I discovered an interesting thing about  pomegranates. They will keep in the fridge a long time for use in summer recipes..... although it's a bit hit or miss which ones will keep and which ones will rot.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Anise Hyssop Ice Cream

This blog post is dedicated to my sweet friend Roch......... he loved sweets, community and saying "meow" and too many other things to mention. How I wish I could have even one more hour of your company.....

Today's recipe uses a member of the mint family, Anise Hyssop. It can be found growing all over North America, or you can order it from a seed company .As the name implies, it has a mild anise flavor. I make ice cream with a little quickie ice cream maker I got at Costco. It comes out more like soft serve, but then I put it in the freezer. The advantage is it's quick and it's not as messy. You could also try putting the mix in the freezer and stirring it every so often, although that has never worked well for me. 


2 cans of coconut
1 1/2  cups chopped Anise Hyssop leaves
1 scant tbsp. lavender flowers
1/2 cup sugar

for toasted pecan topping:

1 1/2 cups pecans (I soak, then dehydrate mine)
1 tbsp. coconut oil
2 tbsp. sugar
pinch of salt

On low heat, simmer coconut milk with Anise Hyssop and lavender, for about 20 minutes. Don't let it come to a boil or it will form a thick skin on top. The mixture will turn a pale green color, simmer till you like the strength of the herbal taste. Strain and add the sugar, stirring to mix while still warm. Cool in the fridge until ready to put in ice cream maker. In a skillet on the stove, add the coconut oil, sugar, pecans and salt. stir over medium heat until the oil is mostly absorbed and the pecans are well coated with the sugar. I toast all my nuts on top of the stove these days, because I'm more likely to keep track of them rather than forgetting them in the oven and burning them; and they toast just as well. 

When the ice cream mixture is well cooled, run it in the ice cream maker or put in the freezer. To serve, top with the nut mixture, which will keep well for at least a week. As if you could resist eating it that long.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

June's Pay-It-Forward

To read my first post on the Pay-It-Forward idea to support bloggers who provide content online read here. This month I'm supporting Daniela of danielasneedleart.

This is the cute pattern that I bought:

Pinned Image

I think her free patterns are even cuter than her paid ones, such as this:

Her blog has lots of free patterns, and ideas. She also promotes other yarn designers. You can find her on Ravelry as well.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Chive Flower Vinegar

OK, so I am the last blogger this year to post about making chive flower vinegar. The season is pretty much over, too; but this vinegar comes out so pretty, I just had to share.

Collect the fresh flowering tops of chives; fill a bottle half full of the flowers and fill the rest with vinegar. White distilled vinegar comes out the prettiest color of pink; but I've been told that a better quality vinegar, such as apple cider will come out tastier; so I tried that with my second batch. It still comes out an interesting reddish color. Let the flowers steep in the vinegar for about a week, and you'll have some very garlicky vinegar. For a more subtle flavor, use less flowers. I like strong earthy tastes, yum. Don't throw away the flowers after you strain them out! You now have pickled chive flowers, which are great in salads, in rice and beans, on sandwiches, etc., etc.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Gingerbread and Snowflakes

I just won a blog giveaway from Gingerbread and Snowflakes . What makes this so special is Pam and her blog. It's a blog that features her creative projects and often informative blogs from other bloggers about crafts. She is where I got the idea to do the Pay-It-Forward to other bloggers who provide content online. This is her post about the idea. She in turn was inspired by her very crafty daughter, Diane of Craftypod , who has some really informative posts about podcasting. Pam has taken the Pay-It-Forward idea a step further and is now holding giveaways each month that feature an online blogger or group. For June she featured the The Etsy Italia Team CHARITY Shop , which is a group that donates items, whose sale benefits various charities in Italy. Right now they are donating the proceeds to help victims of the recent earthquakes in Italy that have killed several people and left many homeless. I'm glad winning this giveaway contributes to helping others suffering from disaster, and hope they are able to get the help they need quickly to get through this crisis.

This was what I won:

Beautiful! Thank you, Pam!

Friday, June 8, 2012

On a Wing and Prayer

Recently I've found two different bird wings in my path while on my travels.... Just the wing, don't know where the rest of the bird went, most likely taken by a hawk. I've always had a fascination with birds, and these came at the culmination of a course of spiritual studies I'd been doing with a group; in fact I found the second wing while meeting with the group and one of the women had previously found one herself, so we all had one. Happy synchronicity. Following my natural shamanistic tendencies, I turned mine into a smudge wand to honor the spirit of the bird and have just completed turning the second one into a smudge wand for my friend as well.

What mundane things have you found that have magical meaning for you?