Faerie Cakes with Candied Violets

Spending Beltane in the kitchen this year?  Make it magical with these charming little faerie cakes.

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Whimsical yet elegant, candied violets make a striking addition to love spells, wishing magic and faerie rituals.

Use candied violets in faerie cakes for a spring ritual, a “dressed up” cakes and ale or to serve at any spring gathering — especially Beltane!

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The best part is, they’re practically free!  If you’re in the Eastern US and you haven’t put down pesticide this year on your lawn, there’s a good chance your yard or a nearby one has wild violets in abundance.

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Go spend some time outdoors, bring a basket and gather those little beauties up for a Beltane with a splash of purple.

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Gather a clean, washed, dry paintbrush with a fine tip, an egg white, and some sugar.

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Start by gently washing the violet blooms.  A spray bottle and a strainer work well for this, but be careful!  Even for flowers, wild violets are delicate!

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Allow them to dry on a paper towel.

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Dip the paintbrush in egg whites, and paint each blossom.

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Then sprinkle sugar on the violets.  Most recipes call for powdered sugar, but I use granulated because it reminds me of late frost.

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Finally, bake some cupcakes!

Any vanilla cupcake recipe will do, but make it from scratch.  The more you put into your ritual food, the more “fragrant” the magic of it.  Be connected to the process.

Bonus points for making the vanilla extract yourself.  Vanilla inspires passion in kitchen spells.   Here, we use it to wink and nod at Beltane’s celebration of “spring romance.”

Pipe on some cream cheese frosting and arrange violets in tiny “bouquets.”

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beltane faerie cake

Serve and enjoy!

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Ostara with a Kitchen Witch: Cabbage Dyed Ostara Eggs

Every year, I try to do something inspired and kitchen witchy for this most decidedly food-friendly holiday.

Perhaps you’ve noticed the concept of naturally dyed Easter eggs floating around Pinterest the last few years.

I thought this made for a perfect Ostara activity.

I tried tumeric, spinach and cabbage.

Spinach was a dud.  I boiled and boiled, but the dye wasn’t strong enough.

Tumeric worked okay, but it stained everything!  I can see why they use this in India to dye cloth!

But the humble cabbage, at 79 cents, proved to be both the cheapest and most effective option.

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The idea is pretty basic.  Start with a base for extraction.  In this case, we have our head of red cabbage.

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Shred it and place it in a pot with a 1 to 1 ratio of water.  I did 4 cups shredded cabbage with 4 cups of water.

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Meanwhile, make your hard boiled eggs.  Some recipes call for boiling the eggs with the dye, but I like my eggs cooked a certain way, so I did them separately.   (Place eggs in pot with cold water, bring to boil, turn off heat, let them sit for 10 minutes in a covered pot, then rinse with cold water—perfect every time!)

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Once your dye is done, allow it to cool and add 1 tablespoon white vinegar per cup of liquid dye.

Then submerge the eggs in the dye for 24-28 hours in the refrigerator.

But before you do that, there are some creative options that I didn’t try.  The internet rumor is that if you write or draw on the eggs with crayon, it won’t dye there.  You can imagine all the possibilities for spell work there!

I wanted to keep my eggs as natural as possible, so I skipped this, but I might try using beeswax in the future for a similar effect.

I really loved the way the dye turned out.  It felt so earthy and wholesome.  I see myself using this for a lot of things, maybe even cloth.

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And there you have it!  Charming, naturally dyed eggs for your Ostara ritual.  Use them on the altar as an offering, or for your Ostara meal as a beautiful table decoration.

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With eggs on sale at my market for 28 cents a dozen, my total cost for this project was a mere $1.08.

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Fall Gardening with a Green Witch

A bittersweet time for the gardener, we usually think of autumn as the harvest season.

But a few duties remain.

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First, it’s bulb planting time!

My husband gifted me an amazing raised bed for our anniversary that I plan to turn into a vegetable garden in the spring.

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For now, I decided to sew some garlic, which needs a long time in the ground before harvesting.

I got these garlic bulbs from a talented herb gardener in West Virginia.  I’ve never truly tasted garlic until I tasted hers.  Expertly knowledgeable, she recommended to me the spiciest hard-neck variety.  Here’s hoping it takes!

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Also on the list, tulips and hyacinthus, my two favorite spring flowers.  I love bulbs because they encourage us to look forward to the future, they come back every year, and they keep doubling, so you can dig them up and give them away to friends.  I always smile in the spring when these pop out of the ground, and thank myself for taking the time to plant them in the fall.

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This marks my first year as a window gardener.

Pinching off some tender herbs right from the plant in December sounds like a spectacular natural luxury to me!

I decided to focus on basil, which makes all the difference in winter batches of spicy sausage Italian red sauce.

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It was with some skepticism that I tried propagating herbs.  I put little stock in internet gardening advice.  I never believe it until I see it with my own eyes.   It sounded too easy.

Just clip beneath the nodes, and stick in water.

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Wait for the roots to grow.  (Pardon the unfortunate state of my cuticles—no point in doing your nails before you work in the garden.)

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Plant in soil.  I put landscaping rocks at the bottom for drainage.

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It’s really that easy!  I’m amazed!

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10 Ways to Use Oranges in Wicca

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Pile them on the Litha altar.  Valencia oranges in particular are associated with the high midsummer season, when they commonly come into harvest.  Place a few on the Midsummer altar for a bright, natural adornment.

Include in creativity magic.  I love creativity spells, and there really aren’t enough of them.  Dried orange peel is a perfect addition to a creativity sachet.

Use as a sun symbol.  
Oranges are an obvious sun symbol.  Use them in sun magick and solar rites.

Leave dried orange peel by the bathroom sink.  Or wherever you get ready in the morning.  Oranges have an energizing effect.  The bright hue and citrus flavor awaken the senses.

Use in spells for prosperity.   Associated with abundance,  oranges make the perfect addition spells of monetary success.

Blend dried orange into ritual incenses.  
Oranges can be combined with a variety of other scents, particularly spicy ones like cinnamon, allspice and ginger, or florals like lavender.  Decide on a theme for your sachet or incense, and experiment with one of orange’s compatible fragrances.

During the solar holidays, use orange as libation or as a substitute for ale.  Fill your chalice with orange juice to welcome the sun back at Yule, or bid him farewell on Midsummer.

Use for ritual cleansing.  
Combine a few drops of orange essential oil with a natural alcohol base like vodka, put it in a spray bottle, and spritz it over the altar for a lovely energy cleansing.

Make orange marmalade from scratch.    
For the kitchen witch, make some orange marmalade from scratch and bless it for joy.  Orange’s mood-lifting properties make it a natural anti-depressant.  Makes a perfect gift for a friend in need of a pick-me-up after a rough time.

Carve it like a Jack-O-Lantern and use it as a natural candle holder for the altar.  A lot of people do this for Samhain, but I like to carve sun symbols and use for the summer holidays.  This tutorial shows you how.

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Ostara with a Kitchen Witch: Haitian French Toast

At least a few times a year, I try to feature a Sabbat recipe for the kitchen witch.

This year, I chose to feature this recipe for Haitian french toast.  We’re going to go through it to talk about the meaning of each key ingredient and how it relates to Ostara.

(Haiti, by the way, has a long, rich tradition of Afro-Caribbean witchcraft, but that’s another post for another day.)

The recipe calls for French bread, but I chose to use some of my own homemade bread instead.

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On the practical side, if you make you’re own bread, you probably know that while it’s delicious and much healthier than store-bought versions, the downside is that it goes stale fast, so I’m always looking for ways to use stale bread.  Since French toast ideally is made from stale bread, it’s a go-to of mine.

This unique recipe is sweetened with orange juice.  I decided to fresh squeeze mine for a bright flavor.  Oranges are a perfect sun symbol in wicca, making them an ideal ingredient in an Ostara recipe.  Ostara is a time to celebrate the glowing of the sun’s life-giving light, which will become stronger from now until the Summer Solstice.

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Of course, no Ostara recipe would be complete without the inclusion of some eggs.

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If you’ve made even a cursory study of this Sabbat, you know that eggs are the classic symbol of fertility for Ostara.  The origins of the Easter egg are tied in with this Old World tradition.

Fresh cream is also a fantastic addition to a Spring Equinox meal.  Cream symbolizes the newly born spring livestock, which live exclusively on mother’s milk for the first weeks and months of life.

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This recipe also calls for cinnamon, the spiritual properties of which we have already discussed at length in this post.

And there you have it.  A delicious morning meal to celebrate the first spring holiday.

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Optional additions include high-seed content fruit garnishes, like strawberries or raspberries.  Enjoy!

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Yule Warm Hearth & Heart Cookies

As with most of my kitchen witch posts, this is not a recipe so much as a guide to cooking meaningful spell, ritual and sabbat recipes.

Today’s project and the included spices will work well with any basic sugar cookie recipe.

10 magical uses for sage

Yule is a time for bringing together families.  Whether yours is a traditional clan of blood-relations, or an unrelated bunch with symbolic familial ties, spending the Winter Solstice with those you love to honor your traditions and seal your love for one another is the spirit of this season.

Including a specially prepared, ritually meaningful menu item on your table is a nice way to charge your table for warmth, friendship and bonding.

Not surprisingly, sugar cookies generally include sugar as a key ingredient.

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In kitchen witch recipes, sugar is used to “sweeten” temperaments, making it perfect for use in recipes that will be served in a familial setting.  We all have at least a few relatives who could use a sweeter disposition!

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Traditionally a love spell ingredient, this handy little staple can be used for more than romance!  Vanilla is thought to warm the heart, and everything around it.  Cooking with vanilla in the home allows it to dissipate throughout your house, creating an aura of generosity and general coziness.

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Excuse the cinnamon dust all over my spice container!  This one gets a lot of use in my kitchen.  Cinnamon is a traditional Yule spice, common in Winter Solstice incenses and potpourris.  And of course, it is edible!  Include it in your holiday recipes to symbolize the spirit of the winter season.

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Nutmeg is used to “raise the vibrations” and create a more spiritual, less worldly atmosphere.  Nice if you’re not big on the commercialism of the winter holiday season and want to bring a more spiritual focus to your celebration.

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Finally, we have cloves.  If you’ve got a family rumor-monger (who doesn’t?), this is a nice spice to include in your cookies, as it is known for its use in “stop gossip” spells.  No one needs the Yule tree surrounded with negatively wagging tongues!

I hope you enjoyed this little crash course in common Yule ingredients for the kitchen witch.  Enjoy your Winter Solstice, and Blessed Be!

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Baking the Lammas Bread

There are few things in the kitchen more spiritual for me than the act of baking bread from scratch.  No bread maker, no bakery.

Just a few basic ingredients and the simple luxury of creating something with my hands.

It is my favorite Lammas tradition.

Baking bread has changed little over the course of thousands of years.  This humble food connects us to our shared ancestral heritage and the cradle of civilization.

Every year, I make it a point to try something new with bread baking for the holiday.  This year, I went with a braided bread, which is a technique I’ve never used before.

I included some dried harvest herbs.  It’s best if you can dry ones you’ve grown yourself and crush them with a mortal and pedestal.  This extra effort is worth the time and attention!

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Stir the cauldron!  Or whatever, the wood bowl.

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When I make food for spiritual reasons,  I always try to find ways to make it more ritualized and separate it from mundane cooking.

Drawing symbols and shapes when you flour the surface for kneading is one way to do this during the bread baking process.  It’s like a mandala.  The impermanence is the point.

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My favorite part is kneading the dough.  The feeling I get is very relaxing, like a zen state.  I fall into the rhythm of it without much thought at all.  Kneading dough has a meditative quality to it.

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I thought a lot this time about how mysterious and magical it must have seemed to our ancestors to let bread rise in the centuries before anyone understood the scientific process of it.

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When you let the bread rise, you can treat it just like a waxing moon spell if you want.  Bless it for abundance, or something you want to increase in your life.

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I made two loafs.  One for offering, and one for the meal.  So I divided it into two groups of three.

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For each loaf, I rolled out three long strips.  The number three has many significant meanings in religious traditions all over the world from ancient times to modern.  The Holy Trinity in Christianity, the three primary gods of ancient Babylon, the three aspects of the Egyptian sun god.

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For our purposes, the number three represents the love connections of family and deep friendship gathered around a life-giving loaf of bread.  The process of braiding them symbolizes and strengthens this powerful bond.

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And there you have it!  Enjoy this amazing tradition with your family, covens and friends this Lammas.

It’s truly a magical experience!

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