Autumn Aura

 Maple Leaf Graham Cookies. The air is crisp, the leaves are turning and festive, and cozy country kitchen aromas are emanating from every open window -it’s an Autumn afternoon in New England! From apple-cinnamon to mulled-cider and woodsy-pine to pumpkin-spice and everything nice, this is the most aromatic and flavorful time of the year. Sweet & spicy seasonal treats & tea + scents = Recipe For Fall!

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup raw sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp pure maple extract
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil

The Artful Blog’s favorite wellness teas company with roots that go back to a third generation herbalist named Rosemary Gladstar, has a stellar new tea offering: Organic Tumeric with Meadowsweet & Ginger. Traditional Medicinals artfully blends turmeric, a root praised by healers around the world, with the power of meadowsweet & ginger’s warming properties for an herbal trifecta of ancient wisdom and soothing relief. Perfect Autumn afternoon tea time treat with Maple Leaf Grahams.

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  • Place all your dry ingredients in the bowl of your mixer & combine. Add all of the wet ingredients & mix until everything comes together. Add about 1-2 tablespoons of water if needed -depending on dough consistency.
  • Divide the dough in half and roll half out on a floured surface until about 1/4 inch thick. Use Fall inspired cookie cutters, cut out shapes. Transfer the cookies on a parchment-paper-lined cookie sheet, poke them with a fork few times, and bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges just slightly darken. They will harden as they cool. Store in an air tight container.
  • While cookies are baking brew Traditional Medicinals Stress Ease Cinnamon Tea. Serve. Savor!

DIY Autumn Essential Oil Diffuser Blends. No worries if you’re not culinary inclined, you can still let the scents of golden Fall fill your senses and home with these warm earthy & aromatic body mind soul diffuser blends -Pumpkin Spice Latte, Mulled Cider, Autumn Afternoon, Fireside and Walk in the Woods. Diffusing is a stylish and beneficial way to instantly transport the best parts of Autumn to your indoor living space, and create sublime year-round seasonal spa-like magic with essential oils. Best in therapeutic-grade essential oil brands at various price points recommended by The Artful Blog to consider when crafting your blends: Young Living Essential Oils, Aura Cacia, dōTERRA, Edens GardenFloracopeia, & Rocky Mountain Oils. Just Breathe!

For More Naturally Scentsational Autumn Ambiance See Previous Post: Scents & Sensibilities.

Art Of The Harvest

Harvest: Unexpected Projects Using 47 Extraordinary Garden Plants by Stefani Bittner & Alethea Harampolis, Ten Speed Press, 2017. 

A beautifully photographed, gift-worthy guide to growing, harvesting, and utilizing 47 unexpected garden plants to make organic pantry staples, fragrances, floral arrangements, beverages, beauty products, gifts & more. Every garden can produce a bountiful harvest! This practical, inspirational, and seasonal guide will help make any garden more productive and enjoyable with a variety of projects using surprising and often common garden plants, some of which may already be growing in your backyard.

Early Mid Late Season Index & Plants & Produce Pages From Harvest: Unexpected Projects Using 47 Extraordinary Garden Plants.

Discover the surprising usefulness of petals and leaves, roots, seeds, and fruit: turn Tumeric Root into a natural dye and Calamintha into lip balm. Make Anise Hyssop into a refreshing iced tea and turn Apricots into a facial mask. Crabapple branches can be used to create stunning floral arrangements, Oregano flowers to infuse vinegar, and edible Chrysanthemum to liven up a salad. With the remarkable, multi-purpose plants in Harvest, there is always something for gardeners to harvest from one growing season to the next.

Oregano Flower Infused Vinegar & Vin d’Orange & Fruit & Herb Wreath Pages From Harvest: Unexpected Projects Using 47 Extraordinary Garden Plants.

Floral Branch Arrangement & Lavender Mint Tea & Rose Water Skin Toner Pages From Harvest: Unexpected Projects Using 47 Extraordinary Garden Plants.

Sage Garland & Calendula Infused Essential Oil & Mid-Season Herb Salad Pages From Harvest: Unexpected Projects Using 47 Extraordinary Garden Plants.

Spring Project Lilac Flower Cream Recipe From Harvest: Unexpected Projects Using 47 Extraordinary Garden Plants.

An ancient French technique, enfleurage is the process of extracting a flower’s perfume into odorless vegetable fat. The process used here is a simple method that will capture the fragrance of Spring in a jar. The cream can be used directly on your skin or to flavor favorite sweet dishes. It is best to use the Lilac’s tiny blooms straight from the shrub, picking them in the morning when they are the most fragrant.

Ingredients & Directions: 

  • 32 ounces extra-virgin coconut oil
  • 10 cups lilac blooms picked from the heads in 2 cup increments as needed
  • Pick 2 cups of lilac blooms. Place the coconut oil in a small saucepan and melt over low heat until it is completely liquefied. Pour the liquid into a 10 by 10-inch casserole dish and allow it to harden. After the oil has hardened, score it with a butter knife. This will help the scent of the flowers penetrate it more deeply. Layer the tiny lilac blooms onto the oil, covering it with 2 inches of blooms. Place a second 10 by 10-inch casserole dish upside down atop of the first one. Use electrical tape to seal the two dish edges tightly, and place the dishes in a dark area.
  • After 48 hours, remove the tape seal and discard the spent blooms. Pick another 2 cups of lilacs, add another 2 inches of flower blooms to the oil, and seal again for another 48 hours. Repeat this process three more times, for a total of five cycles with fresh blooms each time.
  • Scrape up the oil from the casserole dish, place it into two 16-ounce jars, and seal the lids. Store in a cool, dark place; the flower cream will keep for up to 3 years.

Stefani Bittner & Alethea Harampolis Of Homestead Design Collective & Their Previous Books.

About

Stefani Bittner and Alethea Harampolis are the owners of Homestead Design Collective, a San Francisco landscape design firm focused on creating beautiful gardens that provide harvest. Homestead provides design and full-service organic maintenance, harvesting, bee keeping, floristry & composting services. Stefani is the co-author of The Beautiful Edible Garden: Design A Stylish Outdoor Space Using Vegetables, Fruits, and Herbs (Ten Speed Press, 2013) and Alethea is the co-author of the best-selling books, The Flower Recipe Book & The Wreath Recipe Book: Year-Round Wreaths, Swags, and Other Decorations to Make with Seasonal Branches (Artisan 2013 & 2014).  Stefani and Alethea’s work has been featured in San Francisco Chronicle, Sunset Magazine, C Magazine, Los Angeles Times, NY Times, Martha Stewart Living, Better Homes and Gardens Gardenista.

Flower Moon

Fall Under The Spell Of The Full Flower Moon May 5th 2017. Now we enter the magical month of May. Named after the Greek Goddess Maia, a Goddess of Spring’s growth, warmth and passion, Goddess of both Earth & Sky.

This month’s Moon is called the Flower Moon due to the abundance of flowers of all kinds that bloom at this time of year. Many of these blooms will become fruit and grain for the harvest and many will bask you in their beauty and scent for a short time and then wilt and fade, not to reappear until next year. This is especially true for wildflowers and a suggested activity for this month would be to go on a wildflower foraging hike. Bring a camera or sketchbook and a plant almanac, and see how many plants you can identify, and those you cannot you can later research and see what folklore, medicinal or magickal uses they have. The Artful Blog advises against taking any of these plants home with you unless there is an abundance and unless you can positively identify them. Instead leave them for others to enjoy, and allow the blooms to become seeds for next year’s blossoming.

The Full Moon in May brings with it the holiest day in Buddhism, Wesak or Vesak commemorates not only the birth of Siddhārtha Gautama, but his enlightenment or Buddhahood, and his death at the age of eighty. The festival is celebrated in many ways throughout different countries, each country adding its local customs and flair. Another idea for bringing the magic of the season into your life by tapping into the energy of flowers, is to create botanical treats for a tasty Spring Ritual. Many flowers we grow are edible and quite delicious, they also add a touch of novelty and beauty to a dish. You can simply add a teaspoon of dried Lavender flowers to a batch of shortbread or sugar cookies, add Rosepetals and Violets to a cake, or Pansy, Nasturtium, Chamomile or Chive flowers to a Green salad. And remember to spend some time away from the distractions and noise of the modern, material world to sit in quiet contemplation, meditation, and awe.

For more fun with flowers see previous posts: Lilac Love, Flower Style, Sunflower Sunshine, Flower Power Beauty, Chive Blossoms, Rose TrufflesWildflower Wonder, Power Of Roses, Culinary Aromatherapy, Rosepetal Jam, Edible Bouquet, Flower Lovers & Mindful Mandala.

Naturally Nourished

Sensational Spring Salad Ingredients.

Nothing tastes better than the first few springtime meals. With the amazing produce Spring brings, one of the best ways to enjoy it is in a fresh, colorful and flavorful salad. Copenhagen-based holistic nutrition blogger extraordinaire Sarah Britton of My New Roots and her gorgeous cookbooks Naturally Nourished and the eponymously titled My New Roots, immediately come to mind as great resources for inspired plant-based healthy recipes that come together quickly. Using everyday nutritious plus delicious ingredients, these two Artful Blog favorites deserve a spot on your cookbook shelf, and will no doubt become your go-to food bibles for Spring and Summer.

Coconut-Quinoa Coleslaw With Minty Tahini Dressing From My New Roots New Cookbook: Naturally Nourished. A creative culinary recipe that spins coleslaw into a praise-worthy direction with synergistic ingredients like quinoa and coconut, and mint and tahini, for fresh & fabulous fare results.

Ingredients

Quinoa

  • ½ cup quinoa, soaked if possible
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt

Minty Tahini Dressing

  • ½ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp cold-pressed olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • ¾ cup water
  • Pinch of sea salt, plus more as needed
  • 1 packed cup fresh mint leaves

Vegetables

  • 2 packed cups shredded red cabbage
  • 2 packed cups shredded green cabbage
  • 2 packed cups shredded kale
  • 3 medium carrots, julienned
  • 1 red bell pepper (stem, seeds, and ribs removed), julienned
  • ¼ cup  freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp cold-pressed olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut

Directions

1. Make the quinoa: Rinse the quinoa well. In a small saucepan, combine the quinoa, water, and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and cook, covered, until all the water has been absorbed and the quinoa grains are tender, about 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

2. Meanwhile, make the dressing: In a blender, combine the tahini, lime juice, olive oil, maple syrup, water, salt, and mint leaves; blend on high until smooth and creamy. Season with more salt as needed. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, combine the cabbages, kale, carrots, and bell pepper.

4. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice, olive oil, and salt together and pour over the vegetables. Toss well and lightly massage the liquid into the kale and cabbage , then let marinate for 5 to 10 minutes.

5. Preheat a dry skillet over medium heat. When hot, toast the coconut, stirring often, until golden brown and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and set it aside.

6. Finish the salad: Add the quinoa and coconut to the vegetable bowl. Toss well to combine. When ready to serve, dish out portions and allow guests to pour the dressing on their salads.

My New Roots: Inspired Plant-Based Recipes For Every Season by Sarah Britton, 2015.

Sarah Britton, called the “queen bee of the health blogs” by Bon Appétit, reveals 100 gorgeous, plant-based recipes in her debut cookbook, inspired by her wildly popular blog. Every month, half a million readers -vegetarians, vegans, paleo followers, and gluten-free gourmets alike, flock to Sarah’s adaptable and accessible recipes that make powerfully healthy ingredients simply irresistible. My New Roots is the ultimate guide to revitalizing one’s health and palate, one delicious recipe at a time: no fad diets or gimmicks here. Whether readers are newcomers to natural foods or are already devotees, they will discover how easy it is to eat healthfully and happily when whole foods and plants are at the center of every plate.

Naturally Nourished: Healthy, Delicious Meals Made With Everyday Ingredients by Sarah Britton, 2017.

Simplify whole foods cooking for weeknights with 100 inspired vegetarian recipes made with supermarket ingredients. Sarah Britton streamlines vegetarian cooking by bringing her signature bright photography and fantastic flavors to an accessible cookbook fit for any budget, any day of the week. Her mains, sides, soups, salads, and snacks all call for easy cooking techniques and ingredients found in any grocery store. With callouts to vegan and gluten-free options and ideas for substitutions, this beautiful cookbook shows readers how to cook smart, not hard.