The Wholesome Yum is one of my go-to sites for all things keto/low carb. They have 5 different chaffle recipes in one post. I used their “Basic” chaffle recipe with coconut flour for this.
Chaffles can be muchy, to be honest. But, I also feel that way about regular pancakes and waffles. I have a waffle iron in the shape of a D20 (because of course I do) that I got from ThinkGeek before it went away, and this mini waffle maker I got from Target for about $10 (they didn’t have the pink one when I was there, otherwise, you know what I would have gotten! Though this one matches the KitchenAid). This recipe is good for either a regular-sized waffle maker or a mini waffle maker. I don’t know about Belgian waffle makers, but I’m gonna guess probably not those ones. It will make on regular waffle or two mini waffles.
The basic chaffle was a good choice for the Benedicts, however, I may be adventurous in the future and use a cheddar jalapeno chaffle or even a garlic parm. I really like flavor, but I also like my flavors to marry, so we’ll see what I come up with!
Now. I’m terrible, like, total pants at poaching eggs. I do like poached eggs, but basted eggs–those are way better! My dad was super awesome at making basted eggs. Though, we never called them basted eggs; we called them Dippy Eggs. Because you dip your toast in the yolks. I could never figure out how my dad was able to get the whites perfect with a pink “film” over the yolk until I learned about basted eggs and how to do it.
So, to do it, melt 1T of butter in your pan over medium-low heat. Crack your egg into the pan and let it start to set. Once the whites are mostly white (as opposed to clear), add about 1T of water and cover for about 1 minute. If you have a glass lid, it will be easier to see when the eggs are done. Carefully remove the egg from the pan and you’ve got yourself a basted egg! You could reduce the butter by half or use ghee, instead. If you’re vegan, use a vegan butter, but you may need a little extra (I don’t know; I haven’t tried my vegan butter yet, so I don’t know how it compares).
Benedicts generally have a meat component to them. Traditionally, Eggs Benedict is an English muffin with a slice of Canadian bacon, poached egg, and hollandaise sauce. Hollandaise sauce is it’s own special torture that we can do a video on sometime. I don’t generally just make it, even for Eggs Benedict. Regardless, there’s also Eggs Florentine which has spinach in the mix, as well as other variations on the theme. So, Chaffles Benedict is a thing now, because I say it is.
Meat of choice (I used deli turkey, but you could use ham or Canadian bacon)
Basted or Poached egg
Drizzle of whatever sauce you’re using (in my case, Sriracha)
Also served with a small salad. Because veggies are important.
Imbolc is a celebration of fire, so making a fire starter just makes sense. Even though it’s February and camping probably isn’t a good idea, unless you live in Hawaii or somewhere near the equator–or are in the Southern Hemisphere, I suppose. Anyway.
I collected some lint, cat fur, hair, etc from around my apartment. I have two cats and two humans with long hair. Fur and hair are everywhere. I had these cute little mini terracotta pots I got from Michaels, and, I naturally have a lot of “dead” candles around my apartment, plus I do make candles, so I have an abundance of wax.
There are instructions all over the web for making fire starters, so it’s not like this video and post are new and novel. In all honesty, It’s 9:46am on the day this post is supposed to go live at 10:00am. Not because I’ve been procrastinating, but rather, I need to really start scheduling some self-care.
That will likely be the video and post for Thursday next week. I don’t keep it a secret that I have Lupus, among other autoimmune issues. I take my medication, as prescribed, and I normally feel pretty good and quite often forget I have issues. However, a lot has happened between November and now. Let me make a non-inclusive list:
*Successfully defended dissertation proposal
*Debuted my first (pre-recorded) burlesque act
*Submitted proposal for IRB review (November 12)
*Launched a webstore (that I haven’t been able to focus on because…see the rest of this list)
*Severe back spasm that lasted 2 weeks, causing vomiting from pain
*Found out Dad was sick at Thanksgiving (wasn’t able to talk to him)
*Massive intestinal pain (not gas), causing vomiting from pain
*Cleared up just in time to get a notice Dad was in the hospital with Covid
*Back spasm returned and lasted another 10 days
*Became jaundiced randomly
*Dad died (December 21st, for me because it was 10:30pm, PST; December 22 for everyone in the family)
*ER visit December 23 for jaundice (doctors kept insisting severe liver damage; I was severely dehydrated from the previous 5-ish weeks of not eating/drinking
*Covid, probably (couldn’t get tested because everywhere was booked)
*Dad’s funeral (December 31)
*IRB stalled application for review (we guess)
*Fever & Fatigue for 6 days straight
*New burlesque act, performed live (virtually, January 20)
*New act development for February 13
*Choreographing and filming new act
*Dealing with Dad’s death in a visceral way (through the act)
*Marketing and pushing the show (which you can still get tickets for a replay link here; just say Lavinia Vale referred you when asked if you were referred by a performer)
*Starting up a new application for IRB approval
So, as you can see, there’s been a lot. Self-care is necessary and something we really should talk about.
Until next week, blessed be.
First of all, the recipe I used for this dish may be found here. It says it serves 6, but it served 2 very hungry adults.
Jambalaya is a traditional dish usually found in New Orleans in the French Quarter. It’s generally made with tomatoes, rice, spices, and meats. According to the New Orleans Restaurants site, it’s literally any kind of meat(s): Crawfish, oysters, shrimp, duck alligator, turtle, and boar. The meat is usually cooked with diced bell pepper, celery, and onions, plus other veggies.
Since this is a meatleass dish, I decided to use black beans for the main source of protein. I was going to add some tofu, but it was severely freezer-burned and about 4 years past the expiry date. I didn’t trust it.
The rice is to soak in the flavors that you put into the dish. As I said in the video, jambalaya really is like a stone soup in that you put in whatever you have on hand, rice, and spices. I did use some of The Last Dab hot sauce (probably about 1/4-1/2 tsp), which boosted the flavor and heat. I also had a large jalapeno and used the whole thing (the recipe only calls for half). I was wanting to substitute the rice for something else, but I was hard-pressed to think of what would sub well that wouldn’t turn to mush (like cauliflower), so this isn’t exactly low carb, but it is lower-carb with the black rice than it would be with the white rice.
If you’re not up for jambalaya today, then consider some Fastnachts! Shrove Tuesday, also known as Fat Tuesday, Fastnacht Day, Pancake Day, etc, was originally a pagan celebration of Spring. A week-long celebration during which time, people ate pancakes! Why did we stop this practice?! Oh, right. Enter Christianity. Shrove Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday, which is the first day of Lent. Lent is a 40-Day fasting period (modernly, you give up something for 40 days; it does not have to be food). The festival of Spring gave early Christians the opportunity to use up their eggs, milk, and sugar before their fasting period.
You see, you’re not supposed to be indulgent during Lent–no rich foods, no flavor, just plain, boring food. For 40 days. Shrove Tuesday became the day Christians would go to confession to be shriven from their sins before the lenten period. Shrove Tuesday is 47 days before Easter.
This year, Ostara is March 20 (Vernal Equinox) and Easter is April 4.
So, enjoy your Fastnachts; enjoy your Jambalaya; enjoy your Pancakes. If you participate in Lent, what are you giving up for 40 days? Let me know in the comments!
I’m a slut for deviled eggs. Seriously. So, the recipe for the deviled eggs in this video comes from here. The title of the recipe says these are spicy, but I added about 2T of Sriracha and had the distinct impression I should have cracked open my Reaper Evil or The Last Dab because it just didn’t have the bite I wanted.
I will say this, though: Greek yogurt in place of mayonnaise in this recipe is the way to go! It has a creamier texture and a much better flavor. Having switched to a Mediterranean diet, I find I must buy large containers of Greek yogurt and Feta cheese crumbles every other week. I use them for everything and I don’t get bored with them because they’re so delicious!
I need to get more of both this week. I’m dangerously low.
I’ll probably also get some meats and hard cheeses and some berries for more charcuterie boards. I made my first one a few weeks ago and it was the best mid-day meal that lasted for hours (because it took hours to eat). It’s, honestly, the perfect thing for Sundays when we make wings in our Instant Pot/Air Fryer. And let me tell you, Imperfect Foods has some of the best party wings we’ve had (we compared them to the stuff we got at the grocery store and Imperfect’s are WAY better). And the Psycho Curry Sauce from Torchbearer’s is to DIE for! We made a lamb and veggie curry with that and it was perfection. We used the rest of the bottle as a marinade for Sunday’s wings and just… *chef’s kiss*.
But, back to the deviled eggs.
First of all, get yourself a Noble Egg Timer Pro. This thing is the best egg timer and you will get perfectly cooked eggs every time.
Second of all, use fresh eggs. We go through eggs relatively quickly here, so we don’t put them in the fridge (plus, our fridge is too small to contain the awesomeness that is my cooking! …in other words, I make food for an army and we have a lot of leftovers). I was on my last dozen from an 18-ct pack that I’d had for about a week. Order eggs from InstantCart or get some when you go to the store and make deviled eggs within 3 days of receipt of the eggs. According to Cameraman Ken, it makes them easier to peel once they’re finished cooking.
So, deviled eggs are pretty simple and they’re the perfect “fat bomb” for those doing a low carb or keto diet. Once your eggs are cooked and cooled (and the Noble Egg Timer suggests cooling hard-boiled eggs at room temperature, rather than an ice bath), peel them and slice them in half. Pop out the yolks–you’ll use all of them–and mix with your Greek yogurt, Sriracha (or whatever hot sauce you want), dijon mustard, and celery salt; then pipe that into your egg halves and vway-ole! Spicy deviled eggs.
The jaw thing I talked about in the video… that’s been a thing for several years. It’s part of the TMJ I developed from singing opera. I’m sure if I paid thousands of dollars, I could have it fixed by a surgeon, but, with everything else going on in my body, I just don’t see the point. At least it doesn’t lock like it used to before I was diagnosed with Lupus. Small victories.
What are your favorite type of deviled eggs? What type of fat do you use in your guacamole/deviled eggs/potato salad and why is it Greek Yogurt? 😉
Till next time, blessed be!
This video is so gross. LOL
I hate stuff under my nails and when the stuff includes two different textures PLUS something sticky. Nope. I’m just going to nope out of that.
So, clearly, I love you guys. <3
Alright, this incense will take 1-2 weeks to dry, so if you are definitely planning on using it for Imbolc rituals (which tend to start in the evening of February 1), you need to make this today. If you don’t have powdered cedarwood (because you don’t live at a sawmill) or powdered basil, that’s fine. It will still work. You can use a coffee/herb grinder to get the bits as finely ground as possible. I really miss my herb grinder. It’s somewhere in storage.
Cameraman Ken bravely cut the cedar chips I have by hand. It took a bit, but he got them relatively uniform in size. The basil was the end of a container, so it was pretty finely ground, anyway. You will need 5tsp of Cedarwood per 1tsp of basil. The honey is just enough to stick it all together. Use a craft stick to stir it or use some disposable gloves to do it by hand. Disposable gloves would have been smart, but hey! This was more entertaining!
Like I mentioned in the video, I don’t make incense this way. I find it overly messy and not as useable as regular loose incense. The incense I created for Imbolc can be found here. You’ll need to order soon for it to arrive in time for Imbolc. And I do not currently have all the ingredients I need for my Ostara incense; however, I do have an Ostara anointing oil that can work just as well in your rituals (unless you’re burning it, which, I don’t think I’d recommend that). Hopefully, I will be able to get the remaining items I need for the Ostara incense and I’ll update everyone when that hits the shop (hopefully in time for Ostara).
There will be a ritual for Imbolc. I may post it a little early so you can participate around 6pm on February 1 (not required by any means, but I want to have that option for you). Given how I use incense, I will likely use the incense from my shop for the ritual. I will probably use the stuff from this video for cleaning my apartment. Like, physically and metaphysically.
This is a short video and a short blog post today. We’ll have more stuff next week!
Gluten-free breads require gluten-free recipes. Even flours like Bob’s Red Mill’s One-to-One flour is not really one-to-one. There are differences with how the flours behave.
Soda bread is an especially good example. There’s a texture and flavor that you absolutely want to have. I used to make Irish Soda Bread when I was in middle school–which is when I found my Nan’s McCormick International Recipes box. When I was diagnosed with celiac/NCGS in 2010 (because it was either Celiac or it wasn’t, at that time; I’d already been gluten-free, so I didn’t have any of the markers, but I felt so much better and not ill constantly that they just said, “Sure. Stay gluten-free. Probably Celiac.”), I found that I really missed Irish Soda Bread–especially at St. Patrick’s Day; it just goes so well with Corned Beef and Cabbage or a good, hearty Irish Stew.
As my personal faith and practice started to incorporate some paganism, I noted that Irish Soda Bread is often used at Lughnasadh and Imbolc–which makes sense as both Sabbats are based in the Celtic religions. I decided to try a gluten-free soda bread recipe from Eating Well; their recipes tend to be solid and tasty.
Cameraman Ken does not like Irish Soda Bread, generally speaking. He absolutely loved this bread. I found it to be a bit more liquid than I would have liked; however, the flavor and texture was perfect–exactly what soda bread should be!
You can also make soft cheese from regular, full-fat yogurt (with some herbs and such) that is a good spread for your soda bread as part of a way to celebrate the beginning of Spring. Imbolc translates to “out of the belly” and many of the recipes and the like, therefore, feature milk. Irish Soda Bread uses Buttermilk (which I did not make myself this year); in fact, my Imbolc video from last year features that particular cheese and making your own butter (we’ve stopped that, for now).
This year’s Imbolc will, hopefully, be a quiet time full of house cleaning and meditative contemplation. There’s a lot to process from the Winter season, let alone a majority of 2020. Ostara is my next big Sabbat and I’m very excited about it. It’s also where I get to test a mead that I made, especially for my Patreons (Persephone Mead). We’ll see how it tastes. I’m hoping the pomegranate evens out the sweetness of the honey.
Have a great week and be sure to check back on Thursday for more Imbolc videos!
Imbolc is February 1/2 of 2021. Normally, you’d want to do a full Spring Cleaning to clear out the negative energies from the Winter; in my case, that’s not likely to happen because I just have a lot going on, right now.
Imbolc is a Gaelic celebration whose name translates as “From the belly.” It is also a celebration of the Goddess as Maiden (from Maiden, Mother, Crone aspects). She crosses the threshold with the Archer to bestow life upon the earth once more. Brigid is a name that shares the same derivative as “Bride,” which is why the aspect of the Goddess is that of Maiden.
Later, the Goddess Brigid (who is the Celtic Goddess of Fire) was Christianized as “St. Bridget,” and her feast is held somewhere around February 1 (I think; I’m not a Saint-celebrator). Fire warms the Earth just as the Sun begins to warm the Earth through longer and longer days. After the celebration of Imbolc comes the celebration of Ostara–the Vernal Equinox–on March 20, 2021.
Imbolc is also a fertility celebration–from the firstlings of the calves and sheep to the fertility of the fields preparing for Spring planting. Corn dollies were a way for people to celebrate the last corn of the year and ensure fertile fields for their harvests at Lughnasadh.
February has many holidays–from Imbolc and Groundhog’s Day to Shrove Tuesday/Fat Tuesday/Fastnacht Day and Mardis Gras! There’s Valentine’s Day, Sweetest Day, and several other Hallmark Holidays. We’ll explore some of them as we go through the month of February and begin to prepare for Ostara. In the meantime, please enjoy the corn dollies!
My apologies for not posting this blog post earlier. I’m still recovering from being sick. So far, the only residual effect is a linger fatigue that is absolutely debilitating. But, hey! I’m used to fatigue, so there’s that, at least!
The recipe I used for this particular batch of dolmades was a pretty simple one. Mine turned out a bit salty, so I probably just over-salted the mixture. I also found that I could have used more of the filling than just the generous teaspoon I did use. But, hey! This was my first time making these and I was not disappointed with how they turned out!
I know I’d mentioned it in December, but as a reminder and official update, I’ve switched my diet, yet again, to a Mediterranean Diet. This choice came after hitting my goal (and stretch goal!) for weight loss. My ideal weight is about 145lbs and the “stretch goal” was to get to 140lbs because my weight fluctuates based on inflammation. So, I’m very pleased with my progress.
The Mediterranean Diet focuses on an active lifestyle, whole grains (the ones I can eat, anyway), beans and legumes, tons of veggies, fruits, and poultry or fish as the main animal proteins. Red meat should be used very sparingly. So far, we’ve been indulging in various types of salads, fish dishes, and occasionally chicken. Tonight for dinner, I’m going to make Greek meatballs with ground turkey; the other day, I made a quinoa dish that featured tomatoes and green beans. I just got a new food processor, so I’m also going to set up some chickpeas tonight to be ready for falafel for tomorrow night. I love falafel.
We also picked up some Bulgarian feta at a Middle Eastern market the other day! I used some of it on the watermelon cubes I made to go with the dolmades and mackerel we had for dinner. It was a decision I made after the taste test in this video. It was so much better and added the right texture and saltiness needed to really bring the “salad” together.
Another thing about the Mediterranean Diet is that it also focuses on community. I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to entertain others soon. Even though I’m not able to make my normal feed-an-army style meals to share with the guys upstairs, I can still make 4-6 serving meals that will be leftovers for a few days for us. Plus, once I’m actually fully healthy (well, my fully healthy) again, we are planning to start up our daily walks again. So, we’ll be active, eating healthy, and maintaining a community atmosphere in a socially distant way. Because I still make extra stuff for people. Because I’m like that.
Speaking of! I have learned out to make fresh, gluten-free pasta from scratch! Which is awesome because my front neighbor has a pasta company called MillerButler, LLC! They make pastas and pizzas for local delivery. Plus, she has a super cute and sweet cat named Milo. He’s so adorable. Anyway! I’m trying to get some stuff together for Imbolc videos for everyone. Thursday will be one such video! Stay tuned!