28 Feb

Testimonial from a Custom Blend Client

Dear Kate,

Next week will mark a month of using your custom formulations. It is so very strange how people are led to one another (spirits even work through the internet nowadays!), and I am more than grateful to have found you and your wisdom through your plants, which I hope are surviving — with only a few more weeks to go before the heat begins to wane — at least I hope it will be just a few more weeks — there should be a Ground Hog Day for summer too!

I have been using all the custom products religiously, and by that I mean with spiritual intent as well as discipline. I have definitely noticed changes for the better, especially in my moods — happier overall and better in getting along with my father when he is here, although strange remembrances have popped up on occasion, and I think it must be the Fuscia Flower Essence for childhood memories!

No skin breakouts this month!!! And GREAT improvement in the vaginitis, although that seemed to be improving with the Lavender/Peppermint Vinegar even before the custom program.

I am very, very, very grateful to the Universe for sending you to me just in time, and I guess if one just relaxes (hard to do), everyone and everything show up at the proper time — and leave at the proper time.

To merely thank you for your products, however, is not at all what I intend in writing to you now because I do realize that the products themselves are only physical, and it is the essences of their help and healing that I am so glad to receive. Without your personal love and concern (which, by the way, REALLY come right through the bottles as well as the fluids in them!) such powerful effects would be impossible. I have used other essential oils and flower essences too, but none have had anything personal to them even though they are organic and time-harvested and all kinds of other good things, except blessed — personally — by one mortal giver — and WOW, what a difference that unique, individual blessing makes! I can feel it! Anyone could feel it, even the most spiritually dull person would, I believe, become a believer!

I hope more and more persons find you, as I have, through a divine guidance because they don’t know what they’re missing, and it’s amazing the amount of skepticism some people will give to the power of prayer and nature and personal blessing, but not to the things in material life that really deserve to be treated with skepticism. What a paradox because these are people who could most benefit from all the offerings of your talents.

Thank you again and again for your help, and of course, I thank the plants through you.

Best Wishes,
MJ

19 Feb

Cucumber Mint Salad

This recipe will work with whatever cucumbers you have, but if you find yourself at a farmers market confronted with ‘Sikkim,’ ‘Poona Kheera’ or ‘Lemon’ cucumbers, you’re in for a great treat, so don’t be scared away by their nontraditional appearance.
Ingredients
3 medium cucumbers, any variety
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 tsp chopped fresh dill
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, torn
coarse sea salt
Dressing
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp lime juice
Directions
Cut cucumbers into bite-sized pieces. Place in bowl with onion, dill and mint. In a separate bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients. Drizzle evenly over cucumbers, season to taste with salt, and serve. Serves 4.
19 Feb

Spicy Spiked Cocoa

This piquant hot chocolate is bursting with bold flavors to keep you warm on chilly nights.

Serves 4

6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped or grated
3/4 cup raw sugar
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly grated cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
2 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp whole cloves
1 tsp peppercorns
1/2 tbsp cardamom pods
1 tsp grated ginger
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
1 egg, beaten
Whipped cream
Splash vanilla vodka, spiced rum, coffee liqueur or bourbon (optional)

Directions:

Heat the chocolate, sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, chili powder and cayenne in a double boiler. Whisk together until the chocolate has melted, then set aside.

In a separate pan, heat the milk, cream and remaining spices over low heat. Stir until the milk begins to bubble but not boil. Remove from heat and strain out the spices. Whisk the milk mixture into the chocolate.

In a small bowl, whisk a tablespoon of the chocolate-milk mixture into the beaten egg, then slowly stir it into the chocolate (this helps avoid cooking the egg).

Use the double boiler again to heat the combined mixture, whisking briskly, for afew minutes before serving. Stir a little bit of your booze of choice into the whipped cream and a little into the cocoa. Then top each cup of cocoa with the whipped cream, and serve immediately.

19 Feb

Chocolate Lavender Kisses

Meringue is the secret to these sweet fudgy lavender-scented cookies. Easy, quick and delicious, these are a perfect homemade gift for the holiday season. For a festive touch, place kisses in small cellophane bag and tie with a bow. Your friends and family will cherish this sweet expression of your love!

Recipe
4 egg whites (at room temperature)
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup lavender sugar*
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

*Note: To make lavender sugar, combine 1/4 cup of granulated sugar with 1 tablespoon lavender buds. Place in food processor and blend into a fine powder. Add to 1 3/4 cups of sugar in a container with a tight-fitting lid. Allow it to sit for 3 days to infuse the sugar with the lavender flavor.

  1. Preheat oven to 200F with the rack in the center of the oven.
  2. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  3. Beat 4 egg whites in a large mixing bowl with cream of tartar, vanilla and pinch of salt until foamy.
  4. Take 2 tablespoons of the lavender sugar and sift together with cocoa and set aside.
  5. Add remaining lavender sugar – 1 tablespoon at a time- to the egg white mixture. Beat well after each addition making sure the sugar is dissolved. Continue to beat until mixture is glossy and makes stiff peaks.
  6. Sift the cocoa/sugar mixture over the meringue. Using a spatula, fold in the cocoa mixture gently just until it is blended.
  7. Spoon the meringue mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a ½ inch star tip. Place 1 inch meringue kisses onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. (I use a reclosable storage bag and clip off ½ inch at the corner. Alternatively, drop the meringue by tablespoon on to your baking sheet.)
  8. Bake the meringues for 1 ½ hours. The meringues are done when they are crisp and firm to the touch. Turn off the oven and leave the meringues in the oven for another hour to finish drying.
  9. Store lightly covered in a dry place.
  10. Makes 75 meringues.