Saturday, December 4, 2010

Delightful Butter Cookie - Glutten Free

As it is National Cookie Day ~ I got to RE-membering my Bakery in Manitou Springs, CO. C R Buns; A Bakery Extraordinary ~ and there were a couple of things we were really known for, the name which was a play on initials and then the logo not with standing. It was a Cinnamon Roll, which I know is not a cookie, but also I made monster cookies, all the cookies were really an after school meal.

Through the years, I have stopped eating wheat so, that meant if I was to enjoy a cookie, I needed to come up with some thing and fast – what was out there 20 plus years ago ~ all tasted, smelled and looked Cardboard. I have a bit of a sweet tooth, this was not going to work. I have played with many cookies recipes and actually have a few that I like and that I am known for here in Maine, without a Bakery to my name.

This presently is my current favorite ~ perhaps since it is good, yet I’ve still not got it perfect.

I give you both the original- which was a rich M E L T in your mouth delight of a cookie, then how it has evolved. So in Honour of the Day ~ GO bake some cookies.

Rich Sugar Cookie - Lemon
1 C. butter yes, 2 sticks
2/3 C. sugar
1 large egg
2 1/2 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
zest of two lemons –juice of one
Cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg and flavoring. Combine and add flour and salt. Chill dough 3-4 hours. Preheat oven to 350F. Roll thinly and cut. Bake 7-9 minutes. I place the dough on a sheet of wax paper and shape it in to a square, it is a very soft dough. After it is chilled I cut it thinly. Let it cool on the cookie sheet for a minute or two before setting them on a cooling rack. I have found this helps keep them from being so fragile. I have no idea how many cookies this batter makes- sorry – it is wonderful decadent

1 ¼ cup buckwheat flour
1 ¼ cup rolled oats sent through the quezy

note- for a little different cookie here are as the buckwheat and the lemon seem to have a metallic taste – have tried both of these – less pepper makes a subtler taste.

3 Tablespoon coarse crushed pepper
½ cup minced crystallized ginger

I made them last night for an event and when I couldn’t find the buckwheat flour I used almond flour in it’s place – nice cookie –

IT IS VERY IMPORTANT to chill this dough- let it get hard.

Sad face I have no pictures of these cookies so the 'ArtDeco' look will have to do.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dancing with Hactare

Pomegranates! I wait their arrival each year ~ the tart taste along with bittersweet myth they hold~ This year it seemed even more important to me. Recently I gave myself permission to see that I had lost part of myself to a depression. Going deep into the darkness of self, moving away from the natural world. Would I ever come out of the darkness~ could I even share this word spoken out loud with those I love? How many of them had noticed and didn’t know what to do, how to help?

I couldn’t dance away! Then one of those difficult “drop me to my knees” events happened that seemed to push me under even more. Oh, sweet Goddess I begged ~ help me to come up and out of this place. Let me claim myself, again.

Now what does this have to do with Pomegranates ~ for me a couple of things. Here in the Northern Hemisphere they arrive as fall is beginning, less light, as into the darkness we go. Then there is the fact that they are basically seed and fruit all in one. The seeds giving me hope to yet un-filled potential. As we head toward the darkest and coldest part of the year, (at least here in this place I call home). I think about how it slows us, has us resting more, which perhaps brings us more time to dream and plan (seeds).

In its most basic of forms Persephone, who is the daughter of Demeter, is taken to the underworld. Her mother Demeter is beside herself, looking for this her daughter leaving her goddessly duties untended; which include keeping the fields fertile. Along comes the Wise Old Women Hectare and helps find Persephone, who oops ate the seeds of the Pomegranate while in the under world, which will send her back to the underworld 6 months of the year. For me it translates to the cycle of things and Life more specifically.

I had given up in the past couple years some things I enjoyed. “Why?”, you may ask. I find the reasons sound lame and not ringing totally true to my ear ~ so as the saying goes ‘that is another story’, that I may choose or not to tell. Some of it had to do with finding ME in a society that doesn’t much honour Women as we grow older ~ who, had I become? I needed to go in search of the Fire that burns in the ME that I know, love and care for. ~ The one that can and does hold Sacred Space for others. How do I continue to walk with my Hectare Wisdom while loving the passions of my Persephone Fire? A part of me will always hold the mothering of Demeter, the holding and bringing forth of the creative flow of life. How might I honour that we/I hold the trinity of life with in, the cycles that carry us form birth to death?

Up out of the darkness, to find pomegranates waiting for me~ let them dance in my champagne! Let their tartness sit upon my salad greens ~ let me taste the fruit of the potential that lays waiting for me.

I would invite us to place this amazing fruit and all the potential it holds on our Winter Altars, to remind us that our dreams are ours to nurture and hold. That in our ‘lost ness’ we may need to ask for help. Let the pomegranate remind you that going into the time of darkness, doesn’t mean you’ll be lost forever ~ what dreams and seeds are you needing to nurture while you are in the Dark Night of the Soul?

How to Open a Pomegranate

Using a sharp knife – making four to 8 cuts gently into the skin and the pith – try not to cut all the way into the seeds/fruit themselves.

Pace the pomegranate in a bowl of water as you peel back the skin. The reason for the water is the pith will float and the seeds will drop to the bottom.
Throw out the pith, drain the water.
Use the seeds/fruit.

Greens with Pomegranate

Mixed greens about 1/4 pound per person as a side
Feta approximately 1/4 pound for every two salads
Pomegranate seeds - this is totally up to you - I go for colour

Serve with a splash
Pomegranate Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/4 cup white Balsamic vinegar
1/8 cup real maple syrup
1/8 cup of olive oil - or oil of choice
1/4 pomegranate seeds
a dash of cayenne

a quick pulse in a blender


My all time favorite –
A spoon full in a Champagne glass top with PROSECCO. Dance to Life, Dance to Growing Older, Dance to Your-self! Watch the seeds dance with you~

Blessings, I love you all. Thank you for carrying me in your heart as I carry you.

image is from the 'Web'

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Recently I was honoured to be part of retreat for women. Lots of Ahs and Ohs -~ you might be saying. Indeed it was a weekend of insights, letting down, surrendering, growth, laughter, tears, sharing, quiet time, holding of Sacred Space, and more.

There is a definite shared experience, a Community experience if you will.. With each member bringing to the experience what they will. Almost like an overlay of colour. I came to realize that this overlay so to speak creates it’s own container. As I am looking at my most recent experience of myself, I found that this cloak of feeling and colour, clouded over the space I held Sacred. The Kitchen that feed intensely, lovingly approximately 43 women. It’s intensity felt like a storm for some.

While others were able to sink into a freedom from Ordinary Time; for they were being cared for by all the folks who held and created circles of growth. My kitchen crew and myself were on Hyper Time, to be sure that all that was needed in the way of food was available. As an Artist in Life, I have learned that I become inwardly focused – as I live alone these days, it isn’t so much of a bother, no body is watching. Earlier in my life my child and I learned to dance with each other around who we both were, are and have become; a dance of many, many lives.

Yet, this past weekend, while others were having an Extraordinary Surge of Empowerment and Knowing ~ feelings of warmth, growth ‘The Warm and Fuzzy’ or as my friend the Diva of Outspokenness put it – A kombi experience ~ we were working, intensely. I wish to my clear ~ that ~ it was MY job! I felt and still feel honoured that I had been holding Sacred Space for this event’s kitchen starting in the late winter early Spring as I looked at what I wanted to create; in accordance with the whole event. The time and care I put toward different food items for us to share.

Creation by it’s very nature requires attention, focus, a protective fierceness, a presence of Being. ( Have you ever watched a spider spin a web, a Monarch butterfly come out of it’s chrysalis?) Life is creation, cooking for me is Creation is Art. Not only is it Art, cooking is art with some fairly dangerous tools ~ I have burns from long ago that mark my arms with the Love of feeding for those that come to my table, whether in my home, commercial restaurant, workshop or retreat. This time was no less, marked with the sadness of missing someone, I now have a T on my Warrior’s Arm. The stories they tell are of loving what I do, WHO I am. The gifts I bring to the table to share. Then of course there are the knives, sharp and deadly, a knife throwers dream! I can not, will not look up for long, with a knife in my hands, I like my hands – they have been kind and loving to me and those I touch.

Here in may be part of the problem, I am by nature a Warrior ~ not a nurturer. I stand tall about 5’9’ 180 pounds, I have arms and hands and legs that love to move, touch, work and share. In our American culture – I would not by any standard be called cute, or warm and fuzzy. I know myself to be very loving, generous of spirit, kind, compassionate, and forth right. I don’t mince a lot of words. I am loyal to those I call friends. It takes a great deal to bring me to anger~ not so much when it comes to frustration, yet how you may see me in a moment of creativity does not make me angry, only clearly focused, grounded in what is before me. It is the same for me with Food, tending to The Earth, when I help ease the tension during body work, when I am printing, painting writing or playing. I LOVE, need I underline it I Love Life! I am passionately intense.

Might I invite you to see past the stoic nature of my physical self- to see the light that shines brightly in my eyes. Might I invite you to know that I enjoy doing my work, even when it is difficult or I am frustrated?

What might my perception of you have been, when I stepped out into the warmth you all carried into the dining hall ~ I was not in your shoes, I was grateful and excited that you were not having to be in mine.

Love, Peace and Hope
Blessings to you.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

This Is For YOU

This is for you. For your courageous self, for the shy, the outrageous, timid, loud, fat, skinny, ridge, flexible, stingy, generous YOU! That’s right I’m talking to You ~ each and everyone of You.

I am struck by what it takes to get out of bed each day. To not give up. To choose to continue on what ever path you are walking. You are out in the world BEING you. That my friends is not necessarily an easy task.

We are bombarded everyday with what society claims they want us to be, look like, wear, even down to the way we wash our skin. Yet, I would tell you this isn’t what we want ~ look at your friends ~ they are your friends and mine…why? Because they are exactly who they are! With all the frills, bells and whistles that make them the unique person they are.

I am struck also by the courage it takes for us to be true to ourselves. To choose to grow, push against our edges, to reach out to a friend and ask for support. To laugh at our silly serious selves. Yes, even to choose on some level to stay stuck in our own mud pit. Some days I wonder what it is my friends see in me ~ who is it that they know that I don’t seem to. I wish I could take out my eyes, borrow yours for just a moment to get a glimpse of the me that you like, love, hate.

This is for you, my friend ~ I See You and through your eyes I am able to see me. Thank you for this gift of friendship. I am blessed by your gift.

I See YOU, this is for you ~ in the words of edward estlin cummings

i carry your heart with me
(i carry it in my heart)
i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)

i fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet)
i want no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

This is for YOU, dear friend, for indeed I carry you with me each day~ it is that You See Me that I AM . Thank you, from the bottom of my soul.

the heart of me, my home is indeed my kitchen - my love comes through to you with what is created there. Self in shadow - it could be you as we are one.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Sweetness for YOU

L'shannah Tovah! As the sun sets this evening, I have friends that are celebrating the possibilities of the coming year. Rosh Hashanah, commonly called the Jewish New Year. With this celebration like all good traditions there are foods that are eaten to bring to mind some of what is desired or wished for. So I offer up Honey Cake, made with rye flour. This one is not so sweet ~ which doesn’t mean anything other then that.

Rosh Hashanah Honey Cake

2 Tablespoons instant coffee dissolved in ¾ cup hot water
3 eggs
3 Tablespoons oil
¾ cup apple sauce
¾ cup honey
¾ brown sugar
2 ½ cups rye flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
Dissolve the instant coffee in the water. Cool
Grease the equivalent of a 9x13 pan and heat the oven to 340 degrees
Mix the first 6 ingredients ( wet items) to blend, in another bowl mix together the dry ingredients. Mix them together just until smooth.
Bake cake/cakes about 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Since I use rye flour I notice it takes a little longer.
If using wheat flour use 2 ¼ cup and bake for less time.
While still hot, drizzle a little bit more honey on top of cakes – this will make it shiny.

Wishing you all a year that is Sweet, Healthy, full of Adventure and Friends! To the possibilities of all that may come. Now on to the Days of Awe.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Beets to Borscht

Harvest time, a fabulous farmer’s market, it’s Soup! This past Saturday, I decided that I would see if I could pick up everything I needed fresh from the market. Indeed there were many options I could have gone with, yet the abundance of Beets, the deep reds, the striped and the goldens. South Paw Farm, Freedom Farm, and Fishbowl Farm, a little bit from each to spread the cash flow and we have; ta- da~ Momma Ro's Golden Beet Borscht. Time to start putting some root veggies back into the swing of things.

Momma Ro's Golden Beet Soup
Feeds 4- 6 for dinner 5-8 if you’re calling it a starter

1 large yellow onion or a leek ~ chopped
2 stalks celery ~chopped
1 –2 cloves garlic ~ minced
3 carrots ~ I cut them on the diagonal
A healthy splash of oil for the sauté pot

5 large Golden beets, peeled and chopped
2 med potatoes ~ chopped
I recently used fingerlings (object everything from the Farmer’s Market)
2 Honey Crisp or Paula Reds ~ chopped peeling is a mater of preference

8 cups veggie/chicken stock or water
You can make a quick veggie stock by taking 4 cups and tossing in all the peelings from the items above – bring to a boil let simmer while you, do the rest of the steps.

Salt and Coarse Cracked Pepper to taste
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes optional

1 ½ cup green cabbage

Topping goodies 1 cup sour cream
¾ cup chives or grated raw red beet

Saute the first 5 items till the onions are clear (tip – hot pan cold oil – food won’t stick)
Add in you beets, potatoes and apples, stir together, add a pinch of salt and one of pepper.
Add the stock to the pot, heat, cover, simmer until beets and potatoes are tender. Add the cabbage just before about 2 minutes before you turn off the heat to serve. I sometimes take about 2 cups of soup and CAREFULLY pour into the ‘quezy’ then add it back into the soup.

May be served hot or cold, top with a dab of sour cream, sprinkle on chives or grated beet

Enjoy this classic! You can also use red beets makes a different soup all together. Serve with a green salad and rye bread. YUM

Monday, August 16, 2010

Garden Clean Up and Implaments for Writing

I know it’s still early for this aspect of being in the garden – yet only sort of. As the flowers go by sometimes it’s nice to clean up the dead debris, stems, a little dead heading, (which done to the Grateful- can be rather silly, when one thinks upon it too long), then of course there is the ever present sneaky weed, pushing it’s way to look like a desired plant. So, what’s the point you might ask ~ well.
It’s all about what you might be able to use in a way that you might not have thought about before. Confessing that I myself would not have come to this on my own, at least not for long after it was shown to me, by a gifted gardener and artist (not sure which order she would prefer) and fabulous friend Lisa Whelan. So I’m going to pass this on as way to reuse, have some fun, and get yourself a free pen. Recycling at is most basic ~
Day lilies have hollow stems, after the flower it self goes by it leaves behind a long stem, which when left to dry then becomes stiff and use able as a writing or drawing tool. I usually wait till they can be pulled right out of the center of the plant – about this time of year. That way you have all the length to play use to your heart’s desire. Cutting the stem at a slant gives you a nice writing or sketching point – the length if used long invites you to loosen up a bit. Or you can smash the tip and get a much bolder line. See what works for you.
Why is this here in the kitchen you ask, come now my friends, most of us know it all happens in the Kitchen at my house.
Have a great day, have some fun ~ no Day lilies? Oh, I bet if you took a walk about your neighbor hood , all else fails give a shout. Enjoy your day!

photo ~ Day Lily stem pen and a little Zen-ness.