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Widowhood Is More Than…

AlishaBozarthBooks

Widowhood is more than missing your spouse’s presence. It is adjusting to an alternate life. It is growing around a permanent amputation.

Widowhood is going to bed for the thousandth time, and still, the loneliness doesn’t feel normal. The empty bed a constant reminder. The night no longer brings intimacy and comfort, but the loudness of silence and the void of connection.

Widowhood is walking around the same house you have lived in for years and it no longer feeling like home. Because “home” incorporated a person. And they’re not there. Homesickness fills your heart and the knowledge that it will never return haunts you.

Widowhood is seeing all your dreams and plans you shared as a couple crumble around you. The painful process of searching for new dreams that include only you amount to climbing Mount Everest. And every small victory of creating new dreams for yourself includes a…

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The Guilt Widows Face In Grief

AlishaBozarthBooks

We expect grief to encompass sadness and depression. Maybe even anxiety. We expect memories to tease our emotions. What we don’t always expect, is for guilt to play such a dramatic role in the process. Guilt tends to weave itself through the very fabric of grief. Intertwined. Unable to be detached.

Guilt sneaks up in various forms and shades. It is sometimes produced by uncontrolled forces in which we have no say, and other times it is our own choices that bring it to a head.  The power of guilt, whether external or internal, illogical or logical, is a force as powerful and unpredictable as grief itself. It makes the grief journey complicated and hard to understand. Sometimes we can bear the weight of sadness, but the guilt has power to twist and manipulate us.

In the raw stages of grief, guilt can be found in simple questions…. Why am…

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It’s tangy, hearty, classic & comforting.

 

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Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie

This meatless take on a classic comfort food is not only hearty, but it’s filled with robust flavors and you will not miss the meat.

 

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INGREDIENTS:

For Potatoes

  • 3 lbs (8-9 medium) Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3 TBSP butter
  • 2 TBSP table salt
  • sea-salt to taste
  • dash of fresh ground pepper

DIRECTIONS:

 

  • Add potatoes in a large pot and add enough water to cover the potatoes and bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling add 2 TBSP of salt, and cook until potatoes are tender.
  • Drain well then return potatoes to the pot.
  • Add buttermilk and butter to the potatoes and mash until smooth. Add sea-salt and fresh ground pepper to taste, give it a good stir to mix the seasoning in and set aside.

For Vegetables

  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • TBSP butter
  • 2 pounds mushrooms (Portobella are meaty and good ones to use), cut into cubes
  • 1 small Vidalia onion (or any other sweet onion)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped finely
  • 2 TBSP fresh rosemary, chopped finely
  • 1 TBSP tomato paste
  • 2 TBSP all purpose flour
  • 1 cup broth (vegetable, chicken or beef, your choice)
  • sea-salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  • Heat oven to 350F
  • In a saute pan, heat oil and add mushrooms along with 1/2 tsp. salt, and make sure you don’t overcrowd the mushrooms, and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • To the mushroom pan, add: onion, carrots, parsley, rosemary and season with 1/4 tsp. of salt and 1/4 tsp. of black pepper and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Stir in: minced garlic and tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
  • Sprinkle flour over this mixture, stirring to coat all the vegetables and let cook for 3 minutes.
  • Add broth, peas, corn and stir for 5 minutes.
  • Turn heat off and spoon the vegetables in a casserole dish.
  • Top with the mashed potatoes in an even layer. (If you want, you could add a few dollops of butter on top of the mashed potatoes.)
  • Bake for 20 minutes, then turn the broiler on and broil for 5 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A threesome guaranteed to please.

When life hands you lemons, simply add rosemary and olive oil—best threesome you’ll experience for the taste buds. For an extra kick and spice things up in the kitchen even more, chili peppers joins the threesome.

 

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Lemon Rosemary Olive Oil Loaf

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cup un-bleached flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, beaten
2 TBSP fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup boiling water
1 lemon, (grate it to get the rinds, and squeeze for the lemon juice)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. lemon extract
1 to 2 tsp. cayenne or chili peppers (this is optional, if you like some spice with the sweet)

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 F

Line a loaf pan with parchment paper, or if you don’t want to use parchment paper, lightly grease the pan

Pour the boiling water in a bowl then add the lemon rind, and let sit until the water is cool.

When the water is cool, add the beaten egg, white sugar, brown sugar, lemon extract and olive oil, and mix well.

In a separate bowl, add: flour, baking soda, salt (and if you’re using any chili peppers this is where you would add them in), and mix well.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and blend well.

Pour into loaf pan and bake for 50 – 60 minutes, or until a wooden skewer comes out clean when inserted in the center.

This loaf is delicious with or without a glaze. If you want to kick up the sweetness a notch, then while your loaf is baking, mix together 2 cups of icing (confectioners’) sugar and 1/3 cup of lemon juice, until smooth.

When loaf is baked, let sit for five minutes, then drizzle with the lemon glaze.

 

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Have a date with a sweet loaf.

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This exotic fruit is not only deliciously sweet, it is also packed with a plethora of health benefits, from lowering cholesterol, adding protein to your diet, rich in vitamins and fiber, to promoting digesting.

You can enjoy a few a day instead of candy (seriously, they do taste like candy) or you can bake with them.

 

Nutty Date Loaf Bread

 

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Ingredients:

1 3/4 cup unbleached, all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup chopped dried dates
2 TBSP coconut oil
1 cup nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans—any nut you enjoy, your choice)
1 cup boiling water
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla

 

Directions:

Heat oven to 350F

Lightly grease a loaf pan.

In a bowl, mix together; dates, coconut oil and boiling water, then set aside and let it cool. Once cooled (make sure it is cooled as you don’t want to cook the egg), mix in the beaten egg and white and brown sugars, and mix until mixture is smooth and creamy.

In a separate bowl, mix together; flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt, mix well.

Add dry ingredients to the wet bowl, and blend.

Add nuts and vanilla, and blend well.

Bake for 50 – 60 minutes (toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center).

Chocolate Heaven in a Cupcake

Get your Irish on to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day (or any day) with these rich, divine, chocolaty, sweet, spicy, salty and Guinnessy cupcakes.

Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes

 

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Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups Guinness (any beer will do, but Guinness is highly recommended)
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp. ground ginger
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnaom
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 6 slices of bacon

 

Directions for Cupcakes:

Preheat the oven to 325F

Line muffin tin regular-size cupcake liners (recipe makes 24 cupcakes).

Turn stove top element on medium heat, and add beer and butter in a saucepan and whisk together until the butter is all melted.

Once butter is melted, remove from heat.

In a bowl, add: sour cream, eggs, and vanilla and whisk until smooth.

In a separate bowl, sift the cocoa and add sugar, cinnamon and ginger to the cocoa, then slowly whisk the cocoa/sugar mixture into the beer mixture in the saucepan, and keep whisking. (The mixture will look lumpy, and that’s okay).

In another bowl, sift flour and baking soda together and then add it to the saucepan mixture.

Mix it all together, until the mixture looks like an even chocolaty color.

Fill the cupcake liners (about three-quarters full with batter).

Bake for 27 – 30 minutes (until the center of cupcake comes out dry when tested with a toothpick).

While cupcakes are baking, cook 6 slices of bacon until crispy, then blot with paper towel, let cool and then crumble and set aside.

Once cupcakes are baked, let them cool for 5 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before frosting.

Buttercream Ingredients:

  • 1 cup un-salted butter, softened
  • 3 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 cups icing (confectionery) sugar
  • 6 TBSP cream
  • pinch of salt

Directions for Buttercream Icing:

Beat the butter until it’s light and creamy, you want a smooth, creamy consistency, then add the icing sugar, until it is all incorporated.

Add the cream and a pinch of salt, incorporate the cream into the mixture.

Add the vanilla then keep mixing until icing is fluffy and thoroughly combined.

Pipe each cupcake with icing, and sprinkle crumbled bacon on top.

 

 

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Souper easy & delicious #recipe #crockpot

Show your crock pot some love and whip up a batch of soup laden with a sprinkling of sexy spices, healthy protein, and a super carbs for those lunches and dinners when you want to swing the vegetarian way.

 

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Sweet Potato, Chickpea, White Beans & Spinach Soup

 

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Ingredients:

3 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 cans of chick peas (drained and rinsed)
1 can of white kidney beans (or canelli beans) (drained and rinsed)
1 Vidalia onion (or sweet onion)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
4 cups broth (your choice, vegetable, chicken or beef)
5 cups of fresh baby spinach
2 TBSP. freshly squeezed lime juice
5 tsp. Kosher salt
3 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp. olive oil

(Optional) If you like it spicy, then add some chili flakes or hot sauce.

Directions:

1. Heat a small pan and add the oil to heat up, then saute the onion and garlic until they are transparent.

2. Transfer garlic and onion to crock pot and add: sweet potatoes, chick peas, white kidney beans, ginger, cumin, cinnamon, broth, salt and pepper.

3. Stir all ingredients well.

4. Cooking times: High for 4 hours – OR –  Low  for 7 hours

5. Once it’s finished cooking, unplug the crock pot, turn it off and add the baby spinach leaves and lime.

6. Stir and serve.

This recipe freezes well and also keeps in the fridge for a few days.

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