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Italian Love Cake
From Herbs for Weddings and Other Celebrations by Bertha Reppert (© 1993 by Bertha Reppert; published by Storey Publishing).
1 angel food cake
1/2 cup amaretto
1 pint pistachio ice cream
1 pint strawberry ice cream
2 cups heavy cream (1 pint)
1 6-ounce package semisweet chocolate morsels
1. Using a sawing motion with a sharp serrated knife, cut the cake into three layers. Sprinkle each layer with 2 tablespoons of amaretto. Place one layer on a serving platter.
2. Cut ice cream into slices and place pistachio ice cream on bottom layer. Top with second cake layer and a layer of strawberry ice cream. Top with third cake layer. Place in freezer.
3. In a bowl, mix heavy cream and remaining amaretto, and beat until very thick. Frost the sides and top of the cake, and replace in freezer.
4. Melt chocolate on very low heat until smooth. Spread chocolate in a 1/4 inch thick layer on aluminum foil, and chill until chocolate hardens.
5. With a small cookie cutter, cut hearts out of chocolate, and place on top of cake. Freeze cake until ready to serve.
Makes one 9-inch cake, or 10 to 12 servings.
1 pint of milk
1 cup of calendula petals
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons of sugar
small piece of vanilla bean
3 egg yolks
1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon of allspice
1/2 teaspoon of rose water
Pound the calendula petals in a mortar, or crush them with a spoon, and scald them with the milk and vanilla bean. Remove the vanilla bean, and add slightly beaten yolks of eggs, salt, and sugar mixed with the spice. Cook until the mixture coats the spoon. Add rose water and cool. This makes a good sauce for blanc mange. It may be poured into a dish without cooking, and then baked like a custard. Serve with beaten cream, and garnish with calendula blossoms.
Orange Calendula Drop Cookies
6 to 8 fresh calendula blossoms
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
zest of 2 oranges
2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces almond halves
Rinse calendulas and pull off petals. Cream butter, sugar and orange zest until fluffy. Add concentrate and vanilla. Add eggs and mix until blended.
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Blend calendula petals into dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture. Mix well. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets. Press an almond half into each cookie. Bake at 350F for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden.
Honey & Lemon Balm Tea Biscuits
1 cup butter
1 cup honey
3 cups flour
3 teasp. baking powder
1 tablespoon milk
2 teasp. lemon juice (preferably fresh)
4 sprigs fresh lemon balm, chopped
Thoroughly cream the butter and honey. Add eggs and beat well. Add the dry ingredients, then milk, juice and lemon balm. Drop by spoonfuls on an ungreased baking sheet and bake 8-10 min. at 375.
Substitutions: if using lemon grass, process a 1/2 inch peeled piece in blender or food processor until it mushes. No stringy bits, no chewy bits.
1 cup dried lavender flowers
1 quart mild flavored honey
Combine the two in an airtight jar and sit on a windowsill in the sunlight for 2 to 3 weeks turning every couple of days. Once brewed warm honey in a double boiler untill honey is runny but not too hot. Using a piece of cheesecloth and funnel pour honey through and squeeze remainder of honey out of lavender through the cloth.
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon dried lavender blossoms, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Preheat oven to 375F. In a med. bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, vanilla, and lavender: mix well. Combine the flour and baking powder and add to the lavender mixture. Stir until will blended. Drop by teaspoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake eight to 10 minutes or until lightly browned on the edges. Let cookies cool.
Rose Petal, Chamomile, and Lavendar Jelly
1 cup tightly pressed rose petals
1/8 cup crushed chamomile
1/4 cup crushed lavendar
1 pack dry pectin
3 1/2 cups water
4 cups sugar
Hothouse roses are fine for this jelly, but home grown or wild roses are best. I found a wild primrose bush with lovely pink and white petals, growing next to honeysuckle. If you do find wild roses, be aware of what's growing around it...poison ivy isn't the best added flavor.
Thoroughly clean the petals, making sure all of the little bugs aren't in your mixture. Mix them with the chamomile and lavendar, then add the boiling water, to cover all of the ingredients. Cover the pot, let it stand for one hour.
Strain the floral matter from the liquid twice with a cheesecloth, making sure all that you have is pure liquid. The petals, chamomile, and lavendar make an excellant facial poltice for tired eyes and oily skin.
Add the pectin to the liquid and bring to a boil, then add all of the sugar at once, stirring carefully but quickly. Bring to a rolling boil for one minute, stirring constantly, then remove from heat. Remove as much foam as you can from the top, otherwise, you have funky white clouds in you jelly. Stir for a few minutes, until the mixture starts to cool, then pour into hot, clean jars for canning. Old jelly jars with their lids work wonderfully for this.
Be careful pouring! I missed the jar and slopped near-boiling sugar and pectin all over my thumb, it's *quite* painful!
Let your jelly stand for one hour in the jars, then put them in the fridge to hasten their setting. Depending on the size of your jars, you should have edible jelly one hour after putting them in the fridge.
The color of you rose petals determines the color of your jelly. With my pink and white primroses, I got a lovely reddish-golden color, and a delicate taste. This jelly complements jasmine tea, as well as lavendar and chamomile, even plain old Lipton.
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped nuts
1 tablespoon cinnamon
3 cans buttermilk biscuits
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare a Bundt pan by coating the inside with cooking spray or butter and set aside.
Melt 1/2 cup of butter or margarine in a bowl.
In another bowl, mix the sugar, brown sugar nuts and cinnamon. Pour into a zip lock bag.
Open one can of biscuits and separate. Cut each biscuit into four sections and drop into bag with sugars, nuts and cinnamon, shake to coat and drop into Bundt pan.
After finishing the first can of biscuits, drizzle 1/3 of the melted butter evenly over the top of this first layer. Repeat these steps for the next two cans of biscuits.
Sprinkle the remaining sugar mixture over the top and bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes.
When done, remove from the oven and let cool for a minute or two, then turn onto a plate and carefully remove the pan. If you leave it in the Bundt pan much longer, it will stick and is hard to remove!
Tools of A Kitchen Witch
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