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Happy Halloween to All Our Readers !

Published October 31, 2016 by Ch'kara

Mystical Magical Herbs


Some Halloween traditions can be traced back to the ancient Celts and their belief that spirits of the deceased were able to wander the Earth during Samhain.

Treats were laid out to appease the spirits, and costumes were worn so the living would blend in with the departed.

If you encounter spiders in your house on Halloween, don’t kill them, they are deceased loved ones watching over you.

Children who are born on Halloween are said to have the gift of second sight.

Black cats are considered good luck in Ireland, Scotland and England. In the U.S., black cats are a symbol of bad luck.

Never wear clothes or jewelry belonging to a deceased person on Halloween. Roaming spirits will chase after you !

If you must pass a graveyard, turn your pockets inside out to make sure you don’t bring a ghost home in your pocket.

Legend has it…

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May Recipes

Published May 10, 2015 by Ch'kara

Mystical Magical Herbs

vinegar and chili peppers in jar

Herb Vinegars

Tarragon and Red Wine Vinegar

20 fresh tarragon leaves

10 juniper berries

2 cups red wine vinegar

Place tarragon and berries in a clean 16 ounce glass jar. Slowly pour in the vinegar, cap the jar and store it in a cool dark place. Allow the flavors to mellow a few days before using.

Rice Vinegar With Coriander

4 thin slices of galangal

2 cloves of garlic

20 fresh coriander leaves

2 cups rice wine vinegar

Place herbs and vinegar in a clean 16 ounce glass jar. Cap the jar and store in a cool dark place. Use within a month.

Red Chili Vinegar

Using a sturdy wooden skewer, poke several holes in 2 whole chilies. Place the chilies in a clean glass jar and slowly pour in 2 cups of white wine vinegar. Cap the jar and store in a cool dark place. This vinegar will remain…

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Tips on Cooking With Herbs

Published May 10, 2015 by Ch'kara

Mystical Magical Herbs


When using herbs in salad dressings, allow the flavors to mellow ten minutes before serving.

Work the flavors of herbs into meat, poultry, and fish by rubbing the herbs with your hands before cooking. The warmth of your hands will release the herbal oils.

Bouquets of fresh herbs can be placed in jars or glasses filled with an inch or two of water. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Use within a week.

Add a bay leaf to the water when cooking beans, lentils, rice or other grains.

Add a pinch of ground cinnamon to tomato sauce. Cinnamon brings out the sweetness and removes the bitter taste of canned tomato sauce and paste.

To chop fresh herbs quickly, place them in a glass measuring cup, insert scissors or kitchen shears and snip away.

Roasting garlic gives it a nutty flavor. Bake on a foil lined pan at 350 for about 15…

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Easy Herbal Recipes

Published April 12, 2015 by Ch'kara

Mystical Magical Herbs

Basil: Create an easy pesto sauce by combining: 1 cup fresh basil leaves, 3 tablespoons of walnuts, 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 cloves garlic. Puree in a food processor. If too thick, add a bit more oil. Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Freeze for longer storage. Use pesto in pasta dishes, rice, vegetables or toss with cooked, cubed eggplant. Chop basil and add to ice cube trays, pour water over fresh chopped basil and freeze. Keep frozen cubes in a zip lock bag or air tight container. Fresh-frozen basil- always ready to spice up a dish. Basil is good for you as well. Loaded with anti-oxidants. Enjoy basil raw, or chopped and sprinkled on a homemade pizza before baking.

Cilantro: Snip a few leaves into salads, stir into tartar sauce or chili-sauce. Delicious in Mexican dishes, add…

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Salame de Chocolate

Published March 10, 2015 by Ch'kara

This looks a bit decadent and yum

Goan Recipes

It’s obvious that Salame de Chocolate (Chocolate Salami) has a European origin for us Goan’s. It is made mostly for Christmas and Easter in Goa. But in our household it was made for Birthday Parties along with Marie Biscuit Cake(spin-off Italian Tiramisu)  because it makes for a rich decadent dessert. The melt in your mouth Salami would always impress our friends as it’s not a very common dessert in Goa. So if you are a vegetarian who has heard about the real deal Italian salami than this one is for you my friend :-).

chocolate-salami-de-goan-christmas-sweets-recipe-italian-portuguese-cacaoIn Goa we get Marie Biscuits, but if you are in the US and have no access to it you can use Graham Crackers. If you want to make it just for adults than add a tablespoon of rum or brandy. You can skip the egg yolks and replace it with heavy cream. The Goan…

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Tea Time

Published January 28, 2015 by Ch'kara

Mystical Magical Herbs

Not only does tea taste good, it’s good for you…

True tea is made from the leaves and buds of the Camellia sinensis tea bush. Depending on how the tea is produced, it falls into one of these six classifications: green, white, yellow, oolong, and He Cha [ dark black ]. There are also dozens of teas within those classes, depending on where they’re grown.

Not all tea beverages are made from tea. Herbal teas are brewed from the roots, bark, stems, flowers, seeds or fruit of any other plants, and would be classified as herbal infusions. Instant powdered teas and ready to drink bottled teas aren’t true teas either.

While these fruit and sugar laden bottled teas may be pleasing to our taste buds, they don’t offer the health benefits of true tea. Teas promote health through their flavonoids and other compounds. Each of the tea classes mentioned above have different…

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Haley Newlin - Writer

Here to share my own writing, from poetry and short stories, to articles of all sorts. Enjoy!

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