Contemplative Sunday

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Early Sunday morning is best when greeted over tea and sweets. It helps with the thinking process. And, just in general, chocolate helps with everything.

As of yesterday, the Sun is officially out of Scorpio sign. Bye bye, Scorpio, see you next year!

It was one intense Scorpio season! I have gained some wisdom and new understanding, I have taken some risks (even though I don’t know yet it that’ll pay off or backfire), and I have, literally,  gained some new possessions.

First, my beautiful butterfly tattoo (scroll two posts down to see the picture). It’s mostly healed and looking marvelous. I have brought home a few other things from the tattoo shop that day too – I was crying so much that they gave me flowers to bring home. (OK, not really, I wasn’t crying at all – nothing compares to unmedicated labor pains, it was bearable, and the tattoo artist was a Scorpio herself, so we had a nice chat.)  I think those bearded tattoo dudes just liked me and gave me flowers. :)

 

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My living room is full of other flowers too, from my birthday. And I have acquired more possessions also.

 

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Yes, I’m boring, I want kitchen appliances for my birthday, so I got this latte machine from the kid (to replace the one that we killed a year ago), a fancy food processor (instead of the one that simply died worn out working so hard) and a few other kitchen things. I did also get the usual girly stuff, perfume and make up. The most exciting one is a financial “contribution” towards my next tattoo (this time in less obvious places). :) Next year, for sure!

But for now, spicy cranberry relish is simmering on the stove, it’s got persimmons, and orange zest, and bourbon and fresh ginger – the aroma is floating in the air… And so are the thoughts…

 

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My new birthday year has just started, so many wishes, wondering which ones will come true…

It’s All in a Name

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What’s your middle name? Mine is Bitch, apparently. I don’t ever argue, I actually agree. I’m a complete Bitch! The very worst creature you’ll ever meet and be happy to run away from, if you can.

I’m not that fluffy and cuddly as I seem. Do not get me to my boiling point, I’ll open my mouth, and then may God help you! So don’t even go there – just leave before that “point of no return”.

There’s a song from an old Russian cartoon that’s running in my head as I type this, the cartoon is about these  little creatures living in a swamp, they look like some type of an “anti-fairy” – green, wrinkly, with big hands, feet and noses, they run around making all kinds of troubles in people’s lives by tricking them into believing they are actually fairy-like and magical.

Yep, agree with bitch calling!

Got a pin for it too!

So don’t tell me I didn’t warn you!

 

 

What’s Cooking This Week

And just to prove the point I’m the most vile creature in the world, I have to admit that I promised to post a recipe of my upside-down plum cake back in September, and then I completely forgot. I do realize plums are not in season anymore, but you can still find some. Italian plums work the best for this recipe. Do taste the plums before making the cake, they have to be somewhat sweet, juicy and ripe. Another seasonal alternative that’d would work nicely in this recipe are apples or mango slices, choose semi-sweet crisp apples or firm but ripe mango for this.

Upside-Down Plum Cake

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Topping:

6-7 plums (or other fruit), sliced

3 Tbsps of butter

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

4 tsps apple or apricot jelly, melted

Cake:

1 1/2 cup of flour (I used Cup4Cup gluten free mix)

2 eggs

1 stick of butter, room temperature

3/4 cup of milk (I used almond-coconut blend)

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

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Pre-heat the oven to 350F, grease an 8-9 inch spring form cake pan. In a small pot, combine brown sugar, butter and jelly and cook for a couple of minutes till sugar is dissolved.  Pour it into the cake form and let it cool completely, then arrange plum slices and set it aside.

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In a bowl, mix together all dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, beat together sugar and butter until light and fluffy, add eggs and beat again, mix in vanilla. Alternate adding flour mixture and milk and beat in-between. Pour the batter over plum slices. It will be somewhat thick.

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Bake for about 40 minutes. Let it cool down before removing it from the cake pan, invert on a plate so the plums are on top.

Let’s face it, this cake is full of butter and sugar.

Yes, I’m a bitch like that and make you ruin your diet!

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Enjoy!

Shredded to Pieces

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This past week has been really nutty with its own doze of crazy, especially Monday and Tuesday, all I wanted to do is sit in a corner and cry. Maybe I should’ve. Because I was still steeping on Wednesday. And then there was Thursday’s Full Moon – just crazy all around!

I’m an empath, that means I feel people’s energy and their feelings pretty strongly. Sometimes it enhances my own, in a case where I have a strong bond with the other person, it also allows me to feel and appropriately respond to that person’s needs – if I feel they need a bit of a space, I’ll step back for a while, silence is not always a rejection, I’d still hold the person in my thoughts but will also allow for some rest time too; on the other hand, if I feel either my presence or empathic support is needed, I’ll offer it, and I will mean it if I say “I’m here for you, for anything you need”.

And then there are people whose energy I’d rather not feel or be around at all. Sometimes I bump into one accidentally and immediately get whirled in into their chaotic and destructive field. And, if I’m unprepared and unprotected, I absorb it all, and then it takes time to “re-work it and dump it out”. Ughhhhhh!

November is usually a high-intensity month for me. I’m a “watery”/emotional Scorpio on any given day, so when my birth sign time comes around, I get hit with a double energy of all the feelings swimming around. The intensity usually subsides for me around early December. So as much excitement as I get from my birthday month, I often just can’t wait till it’s over too.

Therefore, if you feel extra sensitive or emotional or just out of your element for the past couple of weeks, welcome to my life! :)

 

 What’s Cooking This Week

Today’s recipe is all about that “out of your element and inside out” untraditional take on an old favorite. Stuffed potato is probably one of the best and most satisfying classic dishes you can make. Choices are really unlimited: meat, cheese, veggies, a bit of it all… This recipe is a different take on the classic dish that may become one of your favorite too.

“Inside Out” Stuffed Chicken

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6 boneless skinless chicken breasts

3 large tomatoes, diced

1 1/2 cup of shredded potatoes

1 can of artichoke hearts

1 cup each mozzarella and cheddar shreds (I used daiya)

1 tsp each basil, oregano and thyme

salt, pepper, olive oil, fresh chopped herbs

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Cut the thickest part of each chicken breast to kind of “open it up”, salt and pepper it and then place some of the shredded potatoes inside.

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Wrap the chicken, salt and pepper the top and place in a baking dish with some of the olive oil on the bottom. Repeat with each chicken breast. Arrange cut tomatoes and artichokes around the chicken, season it with salt and all the spices.

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Bake in a pre-heated oven at 375F degrees for about 30-35 minutes. Right before the chicken is done, top it with a mixture of cheese and bake till it melts. Garnish with fresh herbs, I used a combo of parsley and basil.

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You have a complete dinner ready in less than an hour. And you can toss a salad together while that chicken is in the oven. Satisfying and easy, even on those days when you were shredded to pieces.

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Enjoy!

Chili Again

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A celebratory meal for the kid and his friend – on finishing up their last round of SATs. Yep, chili again, a traditional one this time, and Apple spice cake (a sheer amount of food that two hungry teen boys are able to consume is the worlds next wonder!).

Thank you all who voted for my recipe in the chili cook-off contest! My recipe was the winning one in this week’s pairing round and will now be going against the rest of the winners. I will keep you posted when the final contest round will happen.

Thank you again!