1.28.2015

Bath Salt and Scrub - DIY and For Sale




This wonderful aroma-therapeutic blend is a scrub for use in the bath or shower, 
especially good for elbows, knees, and feet, but you can use it all over...  
Use it in a bath and it becomes bath salts when you rinse it off.  Or just scoop some 
into your bath for the relaxing and healing properties of the ingredients.  



Make some yourself:
The Basic Recipe:
2 c. mixed sea salts and epsom salt - rich in minerals, soothing, relaxing
1/2 c. oil - moisturizing - no need for lotion after your bath or shower
25+ drops of assorted essential oils - uplifting and rejuvenating

Makes enough for a 16 oz. container.


You can use whatever mix of salts and whatever oil or blend of oils you want.  Some good oils:  jojoba, apricot kernel, almond, hemp, grapeseed, jojoba...  Be aware it makes the shower slippery.  I prefer to use it in the bath anyway, that way you get the benefit of the soak in all this goodness.




Use one type or a blend of essential oils.  Choose them for their scent and/or actions.  I am linking a great book on essential oils below.  Make sure to include at least 2 drops of Rosemary essential oil for its preservative effects.  You can also add a tablespoon of Vit. E oil as a preservative.



or, Buy some I made:*
$25 for a large (16 oz.) container plus $5.95 shipping and tax (photo below)






 *If you are buying several Ravenwind Botanica products at one time, whether the same item or not, you can save substantially on shipping as I will ship it all together, please inquire and we'll get the payment set up right for you.  :)  You can click on 'Ravenwind Botanica' in the list to the right to see all products available.  Thanks for supporting my work.

1.26.2015

Going Nuts! - a Recipe: Gluten-free Nutella Crepes

Okay, so I just fixed a crazy good dessert and have to share it with you...



It's so good it'll make your skin turn inside out 
and your socks shoot off to the stars.

~~~

 If you think you can handle this decadent delight, here's how to make it for two:
 


For each crepe-type bottom mix one egg and about 1/4 c. hemp or other milk, whisk until frothy, and pour into a well-greased small skillet (I used about 1/2 Tbspn. coconut oil and a 6" cast-iron skillet).  You need to make sure it will flip and come out of the skillet in one piece, so no skimping on the fat.  Once lightly browned on both sides and cooked through place on a plate, then fix the next one.  While this is cooking chop about 1/4 c. of pecans.



 









Once your "crepes" are ready, spread each one with 2 Tbspn. of nutella (if you are lucky your grocery store will sell an organic, natural version of this hazelnut cocoa spread like mine does).  It's not easy to spread unless warmed - just do the best you can.  Top each with a half of a banana, sliced, then sprinkle on chopped pecans.  Best served warm.

This treat is high enough in calories to have it instead of a meal (about 500).  It's higher in protein and fiber than most desserts thought so you can feel good about it on occasion (about 12 and 3.5 grams, respectively).  I like too that it isn't made with flour.




I'd say Enjoy! but that would be superfluous.  :)


1.19.2015

Collage from the Archives

I am giving a talk tonight at Shenandoah Arts Council on Collage as a tool for healing 
and am giving monthly upcoming hands-on workshops on the same at Mountain Mystic Company
If you're local to the DC, MD, northern VA, and WV area and interested, 
check out this Facebook group for details.

Some of my collages from the archives for inspiration...
(technically they are mixed media assemblages; they are 3D)

Mindfield 2007






Tecknowledgy:  Take a Byte  2007






Fuel  2009


 Ants ended up invading the last one to eat the candy.  I loved this as it added so much to the concept I was attempting to capture, with the collage being about food.  It was interactive art with the ants crawling around and eating it.  Now the candy is long gone.  :)


~~~

1.10.2015

Making Soup Stock: Bone and Vegetable - Nutrition from Kitchen Scraps

Strained Bone Stock with added Shitake and Seaweed for Flavoring and Trace Minerals.






You know those bits that many just throw away (or even better compost) when cooking...broccoli stem peelings, onion skins, chicken bones,....  well if you aren't putting them to good use, now is the time to start.  What I do is keep a gallon ziploc bag or two of each in the freezer going at all times, one for bones, one for vegetable scraps.  Once the bag is full, or sometimes I'll wait for two bags to be full, I make soup stock.  Sometimes I mix the bones and vegetables, but ideally you decoct the bones for as much as 72 hours; the vegetables are best just 24 hours max, so it depends.  The vegetables are mostly just a flavoring agent, something to use as a base or liquid in most any cooking.



Straining the Broth.



The bones on the other hand are one of the most nutritious foods you can eat and I believe no diet should be without the regular intake of bone broth, but especially anyone healing from any type of trauma, dealing with serious illness, or pregnant.  When I eat bone stock I can feel the goodness going throughout my whole body lighting up every cell, literally.  It's power packed with nutrients (amino acids and minerals especially) that enrich your body and make you feel good.



The strained Bone Stock; you can see it has good fat in it too.



To make this glorious golden liquid you just immerse the bones in water after breaking them open to expose the marrow if needed.  For instance, with chicken bones you want to use a mallet to break each long bone.  You can also buy larger soup bones at your local humane butcher (if you don't have one of these, look for one - know your farmer, know your food).  I often do this and just mix whatever bones I have; I even mix in fish bones.  Next add a tablespoon or so of vinegar per gallon of water used; this helps to leach the minerals out of the bones.  You may need to add water as you go, particularly for the longer times, or you can start with a greater amount of water.  Bring all this to a boil, then reduce to simmer with a lid and cook for 24-72 hours.  The longer you cook it, the more minerals you will get out of the bones.  72 hour decocting actually makes the bones mushy like a cooked potato.  Once your cooking time is up, strain it; you do not need to skim the foam off the top (it's high in amino acids).  I then put the cooked bones in my compost pile; I figure the garden will use any minerals left.



In this Vegetable Stock; you can see a Brussel Sprout stalk, Leek ends, Onion peelings, Carrot tops, and  rubbery Celery.


Now what to do with all this rich, luxurious goodness?  I use bone stock as a base for most any type of soup, mixed into any type of vegetable mash, as a broth when cooking meat, and even cook the occasional pasta in it.  It gives any dish a depth of flavor and mouth feel that is hard to beat.  You can also use it as the liquid needed when reheating a dish, or when creating a dish that needs just a bit more liquid to get the texture just right, or in making sauces and marinades.  Keep it for up to a week in the fridge, or freeze it in the right size quantities for your needs.  I have found that it does not work to cook dry beans in (even soaked first); I am guessing the minerals affect the ability of the bean coating to break down because the beans never soften.  So, cook the beans first separately, then mix with the bone stock.



Bone Stock with some type of Bean or Lentil and Garden Greens is a favorite staple dish around here.


For vegetable stock, use the same directions, but keep cook time around 24 hours, no vinegar needed.  You can use it in much the same way as bone stock, though it is more as a flavoring agent.  A great way to make something out of what would be waste otherwise.  Have fun in the kitchen!

~~~