Saturday, June 8, 2013

Bewitching Chicken Enchiladas.

Okay, so there isn't really anything bewitching about these enchiladas, but I'm just so proud of them I needed to share the recipe. You might however think there is magic in them should you try them! And the ingredients are interesting, to be sure!

Shredded chicken filling:

  • Chicken breasts
  • Chicken stock (or water and chicken bullion)
  • Taco seasoning

Fill a large pot with chicken stock (or water and chicken bullion) and add taco seasoning and put in the chicken breasts. Bring to a boil and cook the chicken through. Remove the chicken from the pot and shred using two forks, pulling the meat apart. Add the chicken back to the pot and simmer until most of the liquid is gone. You can store the chicken for later or go on to making the enchiladas

The whole enchilada (haha):

  • Flour tortillas (medium [burrito] sized)
  • Shredded chicken filling (above)
  • Cheddar cheese (shredded to the amount of your desired cheesiness)
  • 1 part alfredo sauce
  • 1 part salsa verde  

Mix 1 part alfredo sauce and to 1 part salsa verde until mixed. Spray baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Add a little of the meat to the center of a tortilla and roll. Repeat with the tortillas until your baking dish is filled (depending on how much you filled your tortillas, you can fit 5 or 6 into an 8x8 baking dish). Pour the alfredo/salsa mix all over the rolled tortillas and move the pan around to make sure you fill in the nooks and crannies. Sprinkle the cheese on top (a solid layer on top is best). Put into a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and your sauce is bubbling.

So I completely realize that many of the measurements are vague at best. Its because...well...I didn't really measure anything. I can tell you I used 4 chicken breasts, and they filled a 64 oz tupperware nearly filled with shredded goodness. I can tell you that I used only about half of that to fill 5 burrito sized tortillas. I used just under 1 cup of alfredo sauce and just under 1 cup of salsa verde for a total less than 2 cups of sauce. I used maybe 2 cups of shredded cheddar, but I didn't shred it so that is an estimate, too). This is kind of a recipe that goes best off of intuition...even if the ingredients go way beyond what would seem intuitive!


Sunday, June 2, 2013

I Know the Fae and They Know Me

My latest project for the garden. Pretty clever isn't it?

I've been giving the Fae in my yard a lot of attention since Beltane. The wonderful strawberries, lettuce, and broccoli that I've gotten from my green house is proof enough that they've noticed.

I've always been happy to give them the attention they so desire. Even since I was little.

*insert memory wave* 3 or 4 years old, maybe. Mom and I were walking through a little wooded area. It was once a race track, but since forgotten in that regard. I walked by a tree, and look down. At the base of that tree was a little door (5 inches, tops) with a flowered wreath and everything. My mom saw it, she'll vouch for its authenticity.

When I decided to openly and with all my heart venture into the waters of Paganism, my husband and I gave a lot of attention to the Fae around the apartment we lived in. That winter we got some snow. Enough to just blanket everything (not common in the Puget Sound area of Olympia, WA). We left for some reason or another, and when we got back, we saw tiny foot prints coming out of the bushes by the door to our apartment, walking a ways, and the returning to the bushes a few feet later. I wish I had gotten pictures, because they were perfect tiny little shoe'd foot prints.

Anyway, I know the Fae and I like to think they have a sense of me too. They know I stand for them, need them, and enjoy them. I only wish I knew them on a much more personal level.


Saturday, April 27, 2013

Some Scripture from the Closeted Pagan's POV

From Matthew Chapter 5:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven…”

This piece of scripture was returned to my life as I was listening to NPR on my way to school the morning of the interfaith service for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. And as I was listening to this articulate Baptist preacher recite this to those who gathered inside of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, I was shaken to realize that the Jesus of this particular piece of scripture could be speaking to anyone of any faith (although I completely realize he was talking to his disciples about the crowd below the mount). 

We all go through trials and tribulations. We all suffer and strive to get where we are going. And yet, for those of us who are truly charitable, kind, compassionate human beings, who put others before ourselves, the road isn't really so hard. And we completely understand that the reward so outweighs the pain in our suffering. Whether you believe in Valhalla, Heaven, reincarnation or anything else, if you have truly lived a pious life, no matter the religion, tradition, or spiritual calling, and you have given without expecting to get in return, have loved with all your heart, and done all that you can to overcome the bias, segregation, inequality, and hatred of our world, you will be rewarded. 

I truly believe Love conquers all. I believe the good people in the world far outnumber the bad or the radical. I believe the lay people of the world have so much more wealth than the CEOs and Chairmen of the Boards ever could, and that when the day of death and spiritual judgement comes, I am certain beyond a doubt the good laypeople of the world will get that "goodness" returned to them - whether they expect it to or not. 


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Divine Lessons.

I even have this sticker on my car...
I have to say, Divinity has a very beautiful way of passing along messages and lessons as I need to learn them. Today has given me a very wonderful lesson:

I sat at Starbucks, attempting very hard to complete some outstanding calculus homework I've allowed to pile up around me, when two Christians from a local church occupy the comfy chairs to my side. At first I was extremely annoyed by their back and forth banter about their church's politics and "God is taking me here" and "I know God will see me through this." The conversation wasn't conducive to successful mathematical calculations. So I put my math book and paper away and popped on Facebook. I have "liked" Pagan News Now and often read the posts that they pass along on their page. Today, a post really caught my attention and has made me realize just how wrong I've been.

Aliya bat Stam is featured on Patheos' Agora with a post called The Road from Hate to Understanding. In a nutshell it outlines Aliya's path away from anger at a Deity she once followed and at the community surrounding that Deity, to one of understanding and acceptance. She also shares an account of a Pagan group bashing Christians and their God.

*Smack*. What the... Oh, whoa... Crap...

It can't be coincidence that a couple of Christians (from the sound of it, a youth pastor and maybe a pastor's wife) come into the same Starbucks I was in, sit right next to me, talk loudly enough for me to hear their conversation (and for me to get annoyed at), and then I read a blog post about intolerance to Christians as Pagans.

I've often been on the soap box touting the need for tolerance, acceptance, and respect of others' religious beliefs and followings (I have the Coexist sticker on my car for crying out loud!), and yet I failed to realize my grudge against Christianity (especially Catholicism) has made me look like a bigoted ass more than a few times. Heck, even in this blog have I been a bit snarky when alluding to my religious past. Now, I can assure you, I was never more aware of it than I am now, and it was never my intention to cause offense, but jeez. I feel bad!

This is definitely a lesson I needed to learn, and what a wonderful way for Divinity to enlighten me. I came out of that Starbucks feeling a little lighter and wanted nothing more than to thank the two devout Christians as I walked out.

Old habits die hard, and I can't promise my enlightenment will take affect over night. But I can be trusted to try my hardest to remap and reroute the anger and frustration I have towards my religious past and work on the understanding Aliya's post encourages.


Sunday, February 3, 2013

South Puget Sound Pagan Parents (SPSPP)

I decided I'd try my hand at making a playgroup of sorts for Pagan parents and their children in my area (Olympia, WA). I haven't been doing any offline advertising yet, as I'm not really sure which direction I really want to go with the group (I'd really like it to serve for as a community that gets together occasionally and does family friendly Sabbat celebrations and rituals), so a lot needs to be figured out. But I feel I need more members before any big decisions take place. I don't want to be the big decision maker, I'd love it to be a consensus between members on how things are done.

At any rate, if any South Puget Sound residents who are Pagan and parents run across this blog then click the Yahoo Groups button and subscribe to the group! Hopefully we can get the ball rolling and form a really awesome community!


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Why my practice doesn't involve Imbolc

I am a pretty much a newbie when it comes to dedicated Pagan practice. I've always been Pagan in my heart, have always felt the call to Nature and the liberation of an open mind. Which to me of course are two of the most important things that define my spirituality and Paganism. But, I'm new to magic, new to celebrating according to the Wheel, and new to the label. My husband is pretty much in the same boat as I am.

Last year we tried our best to celebrate each Sabbat on its generally agreed upon date. We've done a lot of reading - studied up on the history of each Sabbat - and tried to make them fit in with our views and beliefs. Unfortunately, Imbolc is one of those Sabbats that we found are not relevant to our practice.

My husband and I do not practice Wicca. Neither of us (except maybe in distant ancestry) have any connection to Irish or Gaelic culture. Neither of these pantheons call to us. These are probably the main reason's why Imbolc doesn't jive with us. We've tried to find other reasons to adopt the celebration into our practice (who doesn't want another excuse to celebrate?), like for instance "it's nearly Spring!" but, unfortunately, in the Pacific Northwest during this time of year it is hard to believe the ground will ever be dry again let alone begin to think we might see Spring. Heck! Not even my tulips or the crocus are in a hurry to pop out this year!

This has been an area of distress for me of late. I don't know where the notion that every Sabbat had to be celebrated for me to be a "good" Pagan came from, but it was there all the same. I had another one of those "ah-ha!" moments when it occurred to me that no one was in charge of my spirituality but me and that I had left the confines of organized mainstream religion for the freedom of choice of how and when to practice.

My moral is simple. Not every Sabbat needs to be celebrated or even followed to any specific requirements. If a Sabbat doesn't mesh with your views of the world, of the seasons, or of Divinity, don't feel pressured to cram it into your life. This doesn't serve any purpose but to create undo stress.


Friday, January 4, 2013

New Tarot Pouch

I admit I'm a little bit of a craft nut. Painting, scrapbooking, crochet, sewing, ceramics, you name it! I might not always be very good, but I love putting stuff together in creative ways.

So, anyway, I thought I'd try my hand at making a new pouch for my tarot deck! I didn't use a pattern...I just kind of winged it!

Here is the pouch closed.
This is what it looks like opened. 
Close up of where I put my special quartz point for the deck.
I don't know how to write up patterns,but I can do my best at explaining what I did:

  • I chained enough to be just bigger than the longest side of my deck. I think it was something like 25 chains.
  • I used double crochets to do enough rows to make a rectangle just bigger than 3 times the width of my deck. I just counted and it is around 19 or 20 rows. 
  • I finished off and cleaned up the edges of my rectangle with slip stitches. 
  • I then folded one third of the rectangle up and slip stitched up the sides that came together.
  • I created the wrap tie by double crocheting in the center of the flap about 5 chains worth of double crochet in 24 or 25 rows. 
  • Lastly, I took the loose yarn from when I tied off and sort of tied my quartz point onto the front of the pouch with the flap opened and tied a nice bow. 
For a little extra security and energy protection, my deck is wrapped in a black cloth before going into the pouch. 

I really enjoy the way the pouch came out, despite not having a pattern or anything. I'm thinking about doing something like this for my Goddess oracle deck/book, too. But I'll try something a little different. When I do, I'll post it here!


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