Whiskey & Spice Milk Punch w/ A Magical Touch of Heather

Happy Imbolc! In celebration, I’m sharing this recipe for Whiskey Milk Punch from the Gather Victoria ECookery book (for Gather Patrons) which is called Scailtin in Ireland. It can be dated back to the 1700s where it was commonly served in a punchbowl and drunk warm in a mug – but I’m serving it over […]

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Baba Yaga’s Wild Spiced Honey Cookies

Ever since I called upon Baba Yaga to be my winter baking muse – I’ve had nothing but trouble.  Which should have been no surprise, Baba Yaga is renowned for testing your mettle with endless impossible tasks which determine whether she will help you- or hinder you – according to her liking! And from burning, […]

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Imbolc Lavender & Rosemary Seed Cake

There is nothing like cake to celebrate a special occasion and Imbolc (on February 1st) is no exception. And I think this “naked” sponge cake would be a wonderful addition to any Imbolc Feast! It’s kept gorgeously moist with brushings of lavender and rosemary syrup (between cake layers)  but the slight tang of the Mascarpone […]

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La Befana Cake: Honouring The Old Witch of Winter

Inspired by the many Italian cakes baked on Epiphany Eve as offerings to “La Befana”, this fruity golden cake (with a dash of spirit) is a Witches Cake. According to legend, Befana is an old witch who flies through the night of January 5th on her broom delivering presents to children. And as they lie […]

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Rosy Rice Pudding Cake: A Dried Rose Petal Extravaganza

“Rose is sent to earth by the gardeners of paradise for empowering the mind, the eye and the spirit.” Rumi This is the time of year I release my stingy hold over my stores of dried roses and allow myself to enjoy their enchanting presence more liberally in teas, in cooking and in treats. I […]

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Purify & Protect: Angelica, Sage, Rosemary & Bay Laurel Cordial

So I’ve concocted a magical cordial in honour of the purifying and amatory goddesses of February. Yes, a cordial is basically just a sweet syrup but this cordial is a “Februa” and as such will cleanse your energy field not to mention protect your body and spirit. What is a Februa you ask? Well let’s […]

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Dutch Puff Pancake with Lemon Curd & Primrose Cream

My favourite childhood food was (and still is) the pancake, so I’m pretty happy that from Imbolc (Feb. 1st) to Candlemas (Feb.2nd) to Shrove Tuesday (Feb 13th) – there are going to be plenty of opportunities for ceremonial indulgence!  I’ve started off celebrating the season of pancakes with this scrumptious Dutch Puff laden with Lemon […]

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Rosemary Oat Bannock For Imbolc

The grace of a grey bannock is in the baking of it… Scottish Proverb Oatcakes or Bannocks were traditionally eaten on old-world feast days to mark the changing seasons. And roundabout Feb 1st or 2nd, they were known as “Bannoch of Bride” in honour of St. Bridget or Brìghde. This goddess (and later saint) of […]

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Citrusy Spruce Glazed Shortbread: Flavour Of The Forest

This recipe was inspired by an incredibly lovely and vigorous Sitka Spruce tree that lives in a woodland area near my neighbourhood. Standing out amongst the other conifers, her bluish-white branches positively sparkle on dreary rainy days. At first, I was sure she was a Blue or White Spruce, but on closer look, I now […]

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Aromatic & Spicy Juniper Berry Sugar Stars

Juniper Berry is simply divine. For those who have never encountered the juniper berry, imagine the spicy exotic notes of eastern spices like nutmeg and allspice, and the scent of fresh-cut evergreen branches combined. Aromatic and perfumey, it is just the perfect spice for a buttery cookie. But how to best capture their flavour? Baked […]

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Rosemary & Lavender Lemon Curd “Tassies”: Here Comes The Sun!

Nothing says Imbolc better that the bright yellows of lemon, butter and egg yolks. So what happens when you infuse a sweet, zesty, creamy, lemon curd with the aromatic herbs of the sun? Glorious food magic is what! Lemon Tassies are old-fashioned dessert tarts filled with easy to make citrusy curd. And while no one […]

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Grand Fir Dark Nougat: Winter Solstice Sweets

I found the recipe for this “extraordinary and irresistible traditional Christmas candy” in a treasured old cookbook “The Auberge of The Flowering Hearth”. Created with only three ingredients, pine honey, toasted almonds and a pinch of thyme, it was caramelized down into a dark, delectable, chewy brittle known as Black Nougat. Well, I was enchanted. Not […]

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Winter Woodland Medicine: Delicious & Warming Tonic Syrups

When dark, winter days challenge our bodies as well as our spirits, nothing makes a better remedy than old-fashioned tonic syrups. Time-tested & true, these potent preventatives and remedial healers call on the nourishing, medicinal powers of conifers, wild berries, tonic plants and adaptogenic herbs, honey and warming spices. And not only will they help […]

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Sweethearts: Wild Violet Sugar Valentines

If you live in the Pacific Northwest, violets are likely popping up their lovely blue, pink or even white little heads somewhere near you – right now.  And if you’ve left your Valentine treat to the last possible minute (as I have) well, violet sugar is the perfect solution! No fussing, no cooking, no baking, […]

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Recipes for a Feast of Light: Reviving the Magical Foods of Imbolc

I love the ancient feast days that once celebrated the turn of the “wheel of the year”. Marking celestial alignments such as solstices, equinoxes and cross-quarter days, these “holy days “are the origin of most of our modern holidays. And no matter what ancestral culture you descend from, it’s a pretty safe bet that most […]

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Cranberry & Peppermint Honey Cake: Hail To The Mothers!

It’s no secret that baking confections, cookies and fruit cakes have long been part of feminine customs surrounding the winter holidays. But one beautiful baking tradition is now almost entirely forgotten, and it served as the inspiration for this fruity, dense Mother’s Night Honey Cake. And while it may be a bit rustic, I tried to […]

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A Guide To Conifer Magic

When days darken, cold winds blow, and the damp settles into our lungs and bones, we can turn to our ancient plant allies, the evergreen and ever vital, conifers. Towering over the forest canopy, their top branches are always nourished by the sun but their roots extend deeply into the earth. And when winter makes […]

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