Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day!

I love chocolates, but besides being more health-conscious these days, I have food intolerances that keep me from buying the cute little boxes at the stores. 

So, this year I decided to make my own. 

The first batch I did were pretty simple; I made a mix of cocao butter, coconut oil, anise extract and honey, and spooned them into a heart shaped silicon mold. I let that harden for about an hour and placed a toasted almond on top and then spooned some melted dark chocolate over them to finish. I let them cool in the fridge overnight before popping them out of the molds. I had a little trouble with the honey separating out of this one, not sure if it's an issue with the cocao butter, .... anyone work with cocao butter?

Cute, huh?!?

The second batch I made was a variation from a recipe from the Chestnut School that I may have posted before; Naughty Lavender Truffles, the recipe is towards the bottom of the page.

I love, love, love these!

I substituted coconut milk for the cream and coconut oil for the butter. 

Here's the batch going into the fridge to chill:

and here are the finished truffles!

These came out great!

Really, it wasn't very hard to make my own chocolates, and I can put what I want in, or more importantly skip the ingredients in commercial chocolates that are unhealthy.

Hope your evening is filled with fun and love or at least chocolate!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Ceramic Garlic/ Ginger Graters

Before the holidays, I started making ginger/ garlic graters. A friend picked one up at a sale; I used it and fell in love.... so I made my own! 

I use mine almost daily....

It's great for ginger, garlic, turmeric, anything small of somewhat soft texture that's gratable...Is that a word?
I can hold it in my hand over a pot and grate right in, and then if it's going into liquid, swish every last bit into the pot, since it's ceramic, it's very durable.

I had several designs, but either sold or gifted most of them around the holidays. 
Will have more in stock in a few weeks, but for now just have these two left.

I love being able to make my own garlic and ginger paste fresh. It's a bit coarser than the store bought paste, but added to food, I don't really notice.

Have you ever used one of these type graters? What was your favorite thing about them?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year and Welcome to 2014

Happy New Year and welcome to 2014!

I hope you all had a wonderful Holy-days season.... and now it's on to the start of a new year.

If you follow astrology at all, you're already aware that this January 1 is also a new moon; so, aside from the classic intention setting activities for the date, the stars are saying "do it now!", too.

We have layers in timing and purpose...

With Venus still retrograde, we're still mulling over past relationships and events, romantic or otherwise, and possibly dealing with surprise visits from the past, even though the dark of the year is supposedly moving forward. Chiron in Pisces helps us heal that old karma once and for all, and for deeper stump removal.... look past the memory that first knocks on your door, to way, way back, when you first felt this kind of feeling...

For me, it's been manifesting as mentally reviewing everything I've ever disliked about people I've known... ugh... and not very flattering to my ego to catch myself doing it.... what does it matter to me how people live their lives? In fact, they seem to be doing just fine without my input... ahhh, so that's it; I'm feeling just a little unimportant to some people who used to be a bigger part of my life... note to self: make more new friends in 2014, odd hint well taken..... and also, I've stopped the internal rants now that I understand what was going on, facing down shadows hurts a bit, but feels oh, so much better afterwards.
I've also seen a resurgence of ailments I haven't had for a decade... are the two things related? Maybe... being critical certainly creates tension in the body.

Winter is the time of year to nourish the kidneys, adrenals and spleen according to Chinese Traditional Medicine and also to check in on your Life's Purpose. This new moon in Capricorn is a good time to get on track in a practical sense, and set a grounded course of action. With Mars in Libra until next July, it's time to speak your truth and move forward, but take a moment to check your delivery, because how we fit that with others is key to doing it successfully. Anywhere we're out of balance will reflect right back to us and with  Lilith activated we may come across harsher than we intend as we release that old karma... Again, Chiron in Pisces brings us some closure and final healing of the wounds of the past, individually; but also hopefully for the world at large. With so much pushing us forward to success, it would be a shame to stay stuck... If you do manage to get your foot stuck in your mouth at times, just pull it out, acknowledge (ie apologize) and move on. There's too much to accomplish to get impaled on your ego....

Take the Middle Road when things are going to extremes and you'll surf this energy wave for the next 6 months or so.... and maybe get a nice payout from Jupiter sometime around August.
Maybe I can create a lovely birthday season for myself a few months hence....