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"Where better to care for the soul than in the details of our daily lives?....The soul has an absolute, unforgiving need for regular excursions into enchantment. It requires them like the body needs food and the mind needs thought... An enchanted world is one that speaks to the soul, to the mysterious depths of the heart and imagination where we find value, love and union with the world around us. As mystics of many religions have taught, that sense of rapturous union can give a sense of fulfillment that makes life purposeful and vibrant." ~ Thomas Moore.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Dairy Free Caprice Salad YUM!

Hello Everyone,

Today I have a simple Caprice Salad, which is my favorite salad of all time is Caprice......however, loonnnnng sad face here........ I just found out I am dairy intolerant! OH NO!......lots of thoughts around this (as well as alot of ah ha's!!) but mostly how do I still have my favorite salad without one of 2 main ingredients?!
Well, as always, Nature is to the rescue, and so are those wonderful wonderful women who are so innovative and organic and health oriented. I googled "raw caprice'' and found they use ''cashew cheese'' for the mozzerella and that its wonderful in taste. Really? Seriously?! Well, I of course do not dismiss anything unless I try it and I did and yes, it is a keeper, and I am so happy I don't have sacrifice my favorite meal for anything, because the cashew cheese works just fine.
There are several recipes and I moderated it just a bit and here is what I did.

One cup of raw cashews soaked overnight. Then rinsed the next day and put into the food processor with a tiny clove of garlic, pinch of sea salt and I added a pinch of Nutritional Yeast till creamy. It comes out much like softened goat cheese. Refrigerate it for a while to solidify just a bit but I found this is not necessary and you'll see why.


Next assemble your caprice:
Fresh ripe heirloom tomatoes sliced thick arranged flat on a plate. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
A clove of garlic with some top quality extra virgin olive oil is added to a small grinder (I also use a mortar and pestle) to which I add a pinch (to taste) of sea salt, a pinch of Herbs du Provence, fresh ground black pepper (yes I add more) and red pepper flakes.....grind for about 5 seconds to meld and release all the flavors together. Drizzle some of the oil onto the tomatoes. I do like alot of this dressing, the extra gets picked up with fresh bread which I am also making, but that is another post :D

 Sorry for the blurry pics, this was an impromtu post. :D

Take a spoonful of the cashew cheese and dollop onto the tomatoes....then chiffonade some fresh basil leaves and sprinkle those over the cashew cheese. Drizzle more of the oil mixture.
You are done!
I simply use knife and fork to quarter the slices and eat that way, the creamy cheese is wonderful and all of the flavors I love are there! love love love!

Enjoy this to your hearts content with no problems, eat as much as you want all season long!

woo hoo! :D:D:D


Friday, May 15, 2015

Japanese Garden Etc.

Hello Everyone,

Its been a while, but I had not much to say. Am "quietly" gardening and taking care of domestic business but the Mystical side of things has gone to the deep end or is it over the deep end? I don't know what to make of many things I thought I used to know. Its more than just ''things change'', that's not it at all, in fact I love mostly, that things do change. But the meaning of it, the understanding, eludes me. And yet this elusive understanding of life remains so despite some of the most brilliant of minds applying their genius to this mystery of ''why''.

Today I have some pics I've taken, lots! and thank GOD I have still enough Spirit to be inspired to see this beauty, enough heart to feel gratitude and enough presence of mind to grab my camera and take some pictures for posterity and for you. Enjoy.

 I had taken out the grapevine that no longer produced its beautiful muscadine grapes, we didn't eat them anyway. I did make a good tincture out of the one crop I did get, and muscadines are supposed to be the greatest source of resveratrol there is. I should start taking the tincture I made.
But in its place I added the tree that was mulched and 4 pots of roses...these white ones are beautifully fragrant. I am loving having some roses.

The pond lilies doing well, and now the lotus (not pictured) are coming up and they multiplied. We have 3 plants now and I expect we shall have more than one bloom at a time. I don't mind if they take over.

The front gate, full of blooming things.

This area around the pond I mentioned in my last posts we were making into a Japanese Garden. This is how it looked as I began to remove the weeds and things we had there.
I talked John into getting some metal borders to keep the plants in, but I changed the plan and he brought them back for a refund. I decided instead to do the most economical thing and use sod.

It was really just a weedy mess and the plants we put in never did well.

At this point below, the weeds were removed and the tubings and wires for the pond and lights were exposed. I had to figure out how to hide those. The sod was again the easy well as a "fake rock".



 After....same angle.

I got up one morning and the nightlights were still on, I thought it looked nice.....




 The principals of a Japanese Garden is simplicity, serenity and tidyness. The ''bones'' being water,  rock/s and plantings along with a well placed lantern. I will have to keep the grass trimmed. This is why I loved the idea of the Japanese garden in this area, its because its LOW maintenance and I don't have to think about replacing plants or having anything die....its all greens. The Pagoda, rock, Juniper, Topiary and lantern make it Japanese, and the neat trimmed edges and low grasses give its signature style.

 The lights went out as I was taking pictures.


In these next three, a little friend looking for my attentions to feed it breakfast are here...hysterical!


No matter where I point the camera, the little bird walked into the frame pretending to be nonchalant! LOL



 During the day in full sun. Its more opened up now and I much prefer it.


 Ok, on to the front where the bougainvilleas I planted last year are in bloom....they love dry winter.

 These colors are perfection.

 The hanging baskets on the Gazebo are doing well with the ivies.


A comfy spot on the papa san, with pillows.....

 Washed my whites for the summer which is mostly what I wear all season.

  A beautiful dish of succulents.

Seedlings of purple cauliflower coming up.

 My Gardenia Standard (topiary) is blooming well this year. It took only one dose!! of pickle juice to remove all the problems of this plant! I couldn't believe it. This one I had for years but it did nothing, but have black mold on the leaves and never bloomed. One day John went out with his pickle juice left over from his sandwiches, and he added it to the soil....said his grandmother used to do that for her bushes and they were gorgeous. I didn't know about my gardenia topiary smelling like pickles and garlic but it wasn't doing well anyway. Well! within a week all the black mold was gone, and I was impressed with organic fertilizer and ''old school ways'' once again. I too gave it a few feedings of pickle juice and sure enough, the leaves began filling in and getting large, lush and bright green and this year as per its season for blooming, I've had over a dozen blooms and all the leaves are beautiful. And it smells like Gardenia! lol

 One of my favorite pots, finally found a spot it likes for a while....

Thanks for visiting.

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