Soul Cakes for Samhain

Trust me, I’m the Doctor.

This is a shining example of Recipes Gone Wrong! When I looked over the recipe, I really felt like something was missing, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. I think there either needs to be a “Put dough in fridge for 30 minutes” step or a “Use half a stick of butter” step.

I mean, they’re still edible.

In the video, I read what the Llewellyn’s Essentials writer says about soul cakes. But, obviously, there’s more information than just that tiny blurb in an overview book! So, to the internets I travelled–and I was not disappointed!

First, there was this site which offers a few other recipes for soul cakes–recipes I wish I had thought to look up before I did the one straight out of the book! NPR had a great little article, as well; and, blessed be, Holidappy put the recipe at the top of the post (they must have the same mindset as me: Recipe first, life story later–in my case, video first, life story after).

Second, it seems that Soulmas is the name that came from the idea of making soul cakes to offer to beggars and poor who came seeking food in exchange for prayers for the dead. According to another site, the soul cakes were originally a form of lottery during Druidic rituals, pre-8th Century Ireland/England. You draw the burnt cake, you have been selected as the human sacrifice to ward off the evil spirits and bring a prosperous new year. Around the 8th Century, Christianity (as it often did) engulfed the holiday and tried to Christianize it, which is when the cakes started being seen as “alms” for helping to buy souls out of Purgatory. The cakes were then set out, along with a glass of wine (or other libation), for the dead. Children would also go “Souling” (ritually begging for cakes door to door) on either Hallow’s Eve (Halloween/October 31), All Saint’s Day (November 1), or All Soul’s Day (November 2).

Like many Pagan-turned-Christian holidays, Samhain has become commercialized and only bears mild resemblances to its original intent and spirit (see what I did there!? Spirit! Samhain! I slay me!). Trick-or-Treat is the modern “souling” for children; the costumes are more fun and light-hearted instead of intentionally grotesque.

Perhaps a way we can start reclaiming the true spirit of Samhain, we can bake batches of soul cakes and take them to local homeless and women’s shelters and offer prayers with those who choose to for remembrance of their loved ones and for prosperous new years.

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Homemade Grenadine


I love pomegranates! I also love friends who allow me to come pick pomegranates from their trees! I think we brought home about 10lbs of pomegranates and about 5lbs of persimmons. I may make persimmon bread; we’ll see.

This video, though, is for how to peel and juice a pomegranate and how to make grenadine syrup. I used two different recipes, so you can make one or both and decide which you like better for yourself! I think it depends on what you’re trying to do, I think. I also realized after the fact, I’d made the Shirley Temples wrong. It’s okay…the Italian Sodas were actually better for tasting the grenadine. Shirley Temples are made with ginger ale, not club soda. OH WELL.

In the evening, I had a Russian Kiss which is 2oz of grenadine and 1.5oz of vodka shaken together with ice; stained into a cocktail glass and topped off with soda water. I drank two of those with the lemon juice grenadine and that was about half a drink too many (so sweet). However, I added about 2tsp of the orange flower water grenadine to about 3-ish oz of tequila and that was actually fairly tasty.

I also began steeping some compound gins this week–in fact, they should be ready today! One is a very traditional gin flavor palate (juniper berries, cardamom, black pepper, allspice, coriander, fennel seeds, orange peel); the other, I just sorta made up. It’s very floral, featuring juniper, rosemary, calendula, lavender, pomegranate, and cardamom. We’ll see how they turn out, I suppose!

If you’d like to see more videos that involve making liqueurs and various mixers from scratch, head over to my Patreon and for only $5/mo, you can have access to the exclusive content available from yours truly! Who knows–maybe you’ll get to see the role of Kitchen Witch Kryssie played by Cameraman Ken!

Pumpkin Shortbread

I really like this shirt…

Remember when we made pumpkin bisque and made our own pumpkin purée for that? Well, I ended up with an extra 1-1/2 cups of purée that I need to figure out what to do with! So, I started with the pumpkin shortbread because, I love shortbread!

Almond flour is a good 1-to-1 substitute for a shortbread recipe. Of course, so is gluten-free all purpose flour. Once I’m not meticulously counting carbs and trying to stay under 20g of net carbs per day (something I’ve been failing, recently), I’ll probably go back to my standard flours. I’m still going to be super carb conscious because–and this is the bizarre part–of the three of us kids, I’m the one with the most health issues. My body just really doesn’t like me, so it’s making my life complicated. I’d like to lose another 5lbs. Maybe 10lbs. Between 5 and 10. We’ll call that 7lbs. I’d like to lose another 7lbs. That will put me snuggly between 140 and 145lbs, which is where I’d like to be. I’m not unhappy with my current 150lbs; I would just like to have a little more wiggle room on weight gains which happen with new medications and flares and New Symptoms(TM) that end up being new disorders. To continue on the health trend, though, Cameraman Ken and I have discussed transitioning to a Mediterranean style diet. I need to do oodles of research on that and it’s not likely I’ll give up my chaffles or fathead dough, but it would be nice to bake with something other than almond or coconut flours.

Regardless, these shortbread cookies are actually really good and got better after they completely cooled. The texture wasn’t as bad as what was shown in the video. Overall, this was an okay attempt for my first time making it. I don’t think I got enough moisture out of the purée, which meant I had to add more flour which is what contributed to the texture issue.

Still, do make sure to try it for yourself! Also, make sure to head over to Patreon and consider supporting me. The public blog posts there are the same as they are here; however, there is some Patron-only content and announcements that go to my Patrons first before releasing to the rest of the world!


Well, maybe not *every* single little syllable…

Merry meet, my Witchlettes! Today’s video is two apple recipes for your Fall and Samhain season! The first is simply baked apples, which can be done in a microwave or in the oven, depending on what you have available to you; the other is an overnight apple curry soup that is about the same consistency as applesauce, but, like, a thousand times more delicious.

Baked Apples. You’ll need 1T of raisins, 1T of Maple Syrup, and 1tsp of spice per apple you’re making. If you’re going to use an oven, pre-heat it to 350F and get a baking dish to put your apple(s) in. If you’re using the microwave, get a microwave safe ramekin and plop your apple in there.

My very first tip/suggestion is this: Mix the raisins and the spices together. Dampen the raisins with a little water, then mix them with the spices so that the spices adhere to the raisins. You’ll need to core your apple (but not peel it), then place it in the ramekin or baking dish and stuff the raisins into the core. Pour your maple syrup over that mixture and pop into the oven for 10-13min or pop into the microwave for 2min.

I used a mix of cinnamon, cloves, and allspice in equal amounts. I don’t recommend that. I wouldn’t use so much ground clove when I do this again; the cloves really sets your tongue to “Numb” mode!

Apple Curry Soup. This one, as well, was quite easy! I made my own sweet curry powder (because I couldn’t find it in the store and Penzey’s is a bit of a drive), that was the most difficult part. Well, peeling and cutting the apples wasn’t the easiest thing, either–or so I hear Cameraman Ken say. You just dump everything into your crock pot (or your Instant Pot you’re using as a crock pot) and set it only low “overnight” (I figured 10-12 hours was enough). When you get up, puree the apples, return them to the crock, and set it back to low for 1 hour. If you have an Instant Pot you’re using for the crock, just leave it on “Keep Warm,” and do what I did–use an immersion blender, then serve it up!

Both of these are absolutely delicious and the curry does have a bit of a kick! Since it’s about the consistency of applesauce, I would be tempted to use it on pancakes or toast for a hearty breakfast.

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Have a blessed Samhain season!

Samhain Relaxing Potion

Fun with herbs…

This potion is for helping you to relax and clear your mind to prepare for doing divination work. I, personally, do not use potions or anything like that, so to me, this is just a super bitter tea that requires liquid stevia to be drinkable. That is your warning.

Let’s talk about the ingredients, though. We have Kava Root, Mugwort, Meadowsweat, and dried orange peel, plus your boiling water for steeping. Each of these ingredients have various spiritual properties as well as health properties.

Mugwort. Mugwort is one of the most popular herbs from the Witch’s Garden. It does have a very long history and is most commonly known for providing the bitterness to medieval beers (called gruit beers). Mugwort was also used, medicinally, to help aid with sleep, the immune system, digestion, and stress reduction. For its spiritual (or magickal, if you prefer) properties, it amplifies psychic vision and could cause prophetic dreams. It’s representative of the Goddess as Crone, encouraging wisdom and foresight or observation–especially useful during divination when confronting difficult truths. It’s not exactly psychoactive, but if you’re sensitive to thujone, which is the main component, then you’re gonna have some fun, I suppose. This is what makes the tea bitter.

Meadowsweet. Meadowsweet was the precursor to asprin because this herb contains salicylic acid (reportedly, this was discovered in 1835). Therefore, Meadowsweet is a good anti-inflammatory and pain reducer, especially for rheumatism, arthritis, and such. It also helps control hyperacidity and heartburn along with peptic ulcers, gastritis, and vomiting. Spiritually, this herb is used for protection from evil influences and promotes love, balance, and harmony. It has mild sedative properties, which are useful if you trance out when doing divination work.

Kava Root. Kava root comes from the South Pacific Islands and is a relative of the pepper family. Even in ancient times, the kava root was used in religious ceremonies as an ingredient in a drink. When consumed in excess, it has a similar effect as drinking alcohol. The natives realized the root had calming effects, so they began using it as a mind and muscle relaxer, relieving symptoms of anxiety, relieving aches and pains, and preventing nervous tension. Spiritual properties are actually similar to medicinal properties as one should be relaxed and clear-minded when conducting divination or spellwork.

Dried Orange Peel. Orange, in relation to health, is well known to have healing and preventative properties–such as being an excellent source of Vitamin C. Spiritual properties of orange include love and happiness, purification, clarity, and energy. By adding this into your potion, you’re purifying your mind and allowing clarity to rule while consulting your Tarot or Oracle cards (or whatever divination tool you prefer) or when you’re casting.

Again, I’m not a fan of bitter teas. The stevia did help to balance everything and you don’t really need a lot. If I’m going to drink a potion (or 3) to aid my clarity for divination, I want to enjoy it! But, please, do remember to consume this potion responsibly by not consuming more than 3 in an evening and not driving or operating machinery for at least an hour after your last one.

Let me know if you make this and how it works for you!

Pumpkin Time!


It’s pumpkin time!

No, not pumpkin spice. I mean, pumpkin spice is fine and dandy and if that’s your deal, you go! I prefer the Gingerbread Lattes to Pumpkin Spice, but I just love pumpkin! So, I bought 3 sugar pumpkins (the kind you use for pumpkin pies) to make various things. One of them got heat damaged from being next to one of my burners, so I decided to roast that right on up and make pumpkin puree! The pumpkin weighed about 2lbs and yielded ~2.5 cups of puree.

A note on the puree: If you decide to use a blender, you will need to cut the large chunks down. You will also need to gauge the water that you add. You don’t want to make it too liquidy, but you need enough liquid to keep the blades from seizing. Pumpkin is notorious for bulking up when you blend/puree it.

The recipe is from the Samhain book from Llewellyn’s Sabbat Essentials library. The entire series is a great resource for each of the Sabbats, honestly. It’s where I get a good number of my ideas for videos. I celebrate very differently from many of the traditions, but if you’re just starting out on your path, these books are a really good overview of everything. I especially use them for the Sabbats I don’t personally celebrate so I can help others celebrate those sabbats!

Samhain is one of my sabbats, if you hadn’t guessed. This entire month, I’ll be featuring recipes and crafts/rituals/etc for the sabbat. I may see if I can live-stream something on Samhain eve/Halloween for everyone, since… we have to be socially distant. Maybe I’ll host a Zoom event. Would that be of interest? I’ll post information, obviously, for the event! Video/audio is not required, unless you want to.

Anyway! Make sure you’re subscribed to the YouTube channel for the video updates and make sure you’re subscribed to the blog for other updates and while you’re subscribing, considering popping over to Patreon and subscribing there so you can be notified of special events and such (and, maybe even get early access to stuff)!

Blessed be!

Veggie Lasagna – Low Carb


There are six guys who live upstairs. They’re a cool group of guys, but I’m really only friend-friends with 3 of them. One of the things they do is run a start-up called “Spira, Inc” in which they grow spirulina to create sustainable and ethical food sources. In a nutshell, that’s what they do.

Anyway, one of them, Elliott, is going to do this–in space! He’s going to be gone for two months for training and getting things set up and all that. So, he’s moving out so they can replace his portion of the rent, quickly. He has a new apartment lined up, already, for when he’s back. Plus, he loves my cooking, so it’s not like I won’t see him.

His birthday was also recently, so I promised that I’d make him veggie lasagna (because he’s a vegetarian). I told him I didn’t use pasta in my lasagna. He was a little dubious, but excited all the same. Instead of pasta, I use zucchini. Plus, I used my homemade sauce. Ricotta and mozzarella added to the flavor and, of course, you have to top it off with mozzarella. And parmesan.

Apparently it was a hit. I had an empty and clean baking dish back the very next day.

Also, my diet is working well. To date (at least of the writing of this post), I have lost 15lbs. I have 10lbs more to lose to reach my goal. And don’t worry, my goal weight is not unrealistic. It’s 145lbs. I thought I had completely blown my progress on Saturday because I ordered a gluten-free pizza from Pizza Hut (veggie!) because I didn’t feel like cooking, I had worked out, and I was just…stressed. It was a low-calorie thing, but the carbs were pretty high. Still, I wasn’t knocked out of ketosis and, in fact, I’m actively burning fat as I type this (in a very insane way, according to my test strips). So, I’m pretty confident that when I transition into a maintenance phase, I’ll be okay and won’t regain everything I worked to take off. Plus, I plan on staying with my exercise routine. I’m on week 12 of the 13, and I’ve only missed one workout.

Thank you all for viewing the videos and reading my posts. I was notified I’ve received 100 likes on this blog. That’s actually overwhelming to me! I never really expected people would be interested in these, but apparently, I was wrong! Thank you for your support!

Keto Meal: Shrimp Scampi, Creamed Spinach, & Cornbread

I am quite ambitious.

It was #FishFriday. I’m not a huge fan of shrimp, but I promised Cameraman Ken I’d make shrimp scampi if he ordered shrimp in our Imperfect Produce box. He was excited for scampi, but I didn’t feel like making noodles or making two separate batches of noodles for him and myself. So, I asked if I could make something else to serve it with. He agreed, and so I chose to make creamed spinach and cornbread, as well. Because the scampi recipe suggested those as side dishes.

Y’all. This was a frantic thing. I had an hour to prepare everything because I had a Zoom meeting to co-host. So, I cooked and filmed this entire meal in one hour. It is a new record. Also, you can hear me curse if you listen closely (sorry, Mom). I was very overheated, very frustrated, very hungry, and very stressed. So, I ended up channeling my inner Nadia Bolz-Weber. Regardless. Everything came out almost exactly on time with each other.

If you decide to make the cornbread, don’t skimp on the butter. I used a coconut oil cooking spray and it really did not help keeping the bread from sticking to the glass dish. Butter will likely make it release better. I, personally, like sweet cornbread. It’s what I grew up with. Oddly. Because I grew up in Central PA, not the South. YMMV.

If you decide to make these dishes, also make sure you use LARGE shrimp. My shrimp were small and they overcooked at 3-4 minutes per side. This was still incredibly tasty–especially considering I don’t like shrimp! I’d love to hear about your experiences making this dish! Leave me a comment below!

Homemade Pasta Sauce

I know it’s tomato base… I hate my stomach!

When I started this blog and channel, I was hoping to go a different direction with my diet. Gastrointestinal issues are never any fun and they’re doubly awful when you don’t know why you’re having them (kinda where I am, currently). I started, basically, a medieval diet palate in January and was really trying to stick with that. But, my weight kept going up, which I did not like, despite doing all the right things (eating healthy, working out, etc). Then I went into a flare that lasted for a nearly-solid 3 months. I was sick every week between March 11 and June 1. I decided in May that I was going to try carb-cycling between Keto and Paleo. The first week of pure keto went well. I lost about 8lbs. But, when I tried to do the Paleo week, nothing actually sounded good, and I gained back about 3lbs. So, I switched back to straight Keto in the middle of that week and have been doing that since June 1. I’ve lost about 11lbs. Not very impressive and, yet again, I’m doing all the right things. I’m staying below 20g Net Carbs; I work out 3x/week; I’ve lost a total of 13″ from my body, but the weight isn’t moving.

…and I still have gastrointestinal issues.

I just deal with it. I’ve decided this is my lot in life. It’s not a lot, but it’s my life. I don’t want to deny Cameraman Ken his regular pasta sauce all the time. And I make a really good sauce, so I told him to get me 2lbs of tomatoes and I’d make pasta sauce. So, that’s what I did!

2lbs tomatoes (I used roma, beefsteak, and cherry tomatoes)
1T olive oil
1 shallot, diced
Garlic until it is enough
2T Italian seasoning
Salt & Pepper to taste
1tsp – 1/2T red pepper flakes (optional)
2c beef broth
Water as needed
4 button mushrooms, diced.

So, you’re gonna start by sauteing your shallot and garlic in your olive oil until the shallot is translucent and it’s all just fragrant. To that pot, you’ll add your chopped tomatoes, beef broth, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes (if you’re using them). You want to simmer that on medium-low for 2 hours. Check it periodically to deglaze the bottom of the pot and to add more liquid. I set a timer for 45 minutes to make sure I checked it and all that stuff. At the second 45 minute timer, I used an immersion blender to blend it down, then added the mushrooms and let it simmer for another 15 minutes. At that point, I turned off the heat and began the canning process.

With tomato products, you want to make sure you put them in a water bath for at least 30 minutes, but not more than 45 minutes. And make sure the jars are submerged for best results.

That’s really it. It’s a long process, but it’s worth it, especially if you grow your own tomatoes.

Avocado Pesto

Counting avocados…

I love avocados. They are not pre-Columbian, however. So, apologies for the New World foods I’ve been eating and sharing on my pre-Columbian blog/YT channel. But, being on a Keto diet, I have to make some tough choices. Once I get to the point where I can “safely” enter maintenance, I’ll be switching to a low-carb Mediterranean style diet, which I’m hoping can go back to the pre-Columbian things. Of course, I may make exceptions from time to time to make some really awesome 17th or 18th century foods, but, for the most part, I want to keep to the 15th Century or earlier, in The Old World.

Anyway. This is an amazing recipe that Cameraman Ken shared with me. The first time I made it, I didn’t add the almonds, just made it per the recipe (and added the optional ingredients). This time, I added the almonds and it gave it a little extra pop. Obviously, if you have nut allergies, don’t add the almonds.

This is good for a kicked-up avocado toast, a pasta sauce (which reminds me, I should make the Keto Noods again, and use this as the sauce for them), or even as a base for a pizza (be it regular, gluten-free, low-carb, or keto).

Definitely do not leave out the lemon juice from this recipe. Definitely taste it as you mix it, but also wait for 10 minutes after you mix it because the flavors will marry and you don’t want to over-salt it. Unless you’re like me and your lab work comes back saying “Gurl. U got issues!”

Also, my cat bit me two days before I filmed this video. So, that’s what’s going on with my left arm, if you notice the scratches and such. It was my fault; I misread his body language when trying to calm him down from attacking (through a security door) a neighborhood cat. He clamped down on my arm and shook it like a rat, realized it was me, panicked, got two of his fangs stuck, panicked more, and Cameraman Ken had to release his mouth from my arm and help me clean up the blood. It was pretty brutal. Fortunately, I had things like 99% Isopropyl Alcohol and Hibicleanse. It was super swollen for a couple days; now it’s just swollen at the 3 puncture points, which also have lumps where the tissue damage is. Also? It’s itchy A.F.

Lesson learned. (Probably not)

How will you use the Avocado Pesto?