Love Letter To Who?

Cats_CupsPageSo today’s card is one that reminds me of things even a child could do. The Page of Cups is that emotional young person who is all about hearts and flowers and youthful emotional expression. A traditional meaning is that someone is going to send you a love letter.

Do you ever write yourself love letters? I’m serious. Just consider it for a moment. Who better to tell you how marvelous you are than the person who spends the most time with you. YOU!

For today’s 180 second challenge, can you commit to dashing off a quick love letter? Maybe just a memo? A post-it note? How about just three words?

I love you.

Some of us will jump right in.
Some of us will drag our heels.
Some of us will refuse because it seems silly.
Some of us will refuse because it hurts to be the only one writing a love letter to ourselves.

And it’s okay. Just face your fears. No one else has to see this love letter. No one else has to know. This is some simple self-care you can do today.

C’mon, darlings! What’s 180 seconds out of your day? Just try it. That’s all I’m asking.

I cooked myself a love letter the other day. Yes, I can see you smiling. I can hear you giggling. But I did.

I had what you might term a trying day at work. My team was recalcitrant. They pushed back at every possible moment it seemed. Customers were particularly difficult with one even exerting the effort to yell at me for three minutes. So I needed some self-love. I needed some me time.

Food is one of my comforts. I was trying to decide if I was going to go to my favorite sushi show when it hit me.

Hamburger gravy over rice.

I honestly can’t remember the last time I had that but it has to have been five to seven years easily. So I went to the grocery store and picked up what I needed. It was so yummy that I wanted to add it to my Tarot recipes collection.

Page of Cups Hamburger Gravy Love Letter

  • 1 lb hamburger
  • 1/2 lg onion (white sweet is my choice), chopped
  • 2 TB garlic (I use the jarred stuff so I can get some oil too)
  • 2-3 TB olive oil
  • 1 TB pepper
  • 1 TB Salt (I use sea salt)
  • 3 TB Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Family-Sized can cream of mushroom soup (or 3 regular)
  • Cooked rice to serve it over (I am a brown rice fan)

In a large cast iron skillet, heat up 2-3 TB of olive oil. Sauté` the onions until gold (I let mine go a bit brown on the edges.) As you stir this, think about all the love and joy and happiness in your world.

Be happy.

Add the hamburger and brown thoroughly. Sometime in the middle of cooking the beef, add the garlic. Please note that I adore garlic and you may want to back off a titch. Do spoon in some of that yummy oil if you used the jarred variety. As the meat cooks and you stir it, open your soul to the unknown blessings already on their way.

Be joyful.

Add the salt and pepper and stir in well. Now add soup and Worcestershire sauce. Let it come to a simmer. This is a very thick dish so you can add a bit of milk here if you prefer it soupier. As it simmers, speak words of love to you.

Remember that you are a fabulous human being.

Oh! Don’t forget to cook the rice. 😀 I generally start it just after I start browning the hamburger so everything is done about the same time.

I know here is where I should say that I serve this with a green salad or some deliciously nutritious vegetable.

I didn’t. I ate two bowls of this and nothing else. HA! Oh, I do add soy sauce to the dish after serving. That’s me. You may just want to experiment with how much salt you like.

I hope you remember to write (or cook) yourself a love letter. You deserve love. You are loveable. I love you. Want some help finding your joy? Contact me. I can help.

Page of Cups, Cat’s Eye Tarot, U.S. Games
Seek Joy, Y’all! Pass it on!

Weary, Wands + Enchiladas

Since it went together in a hurry and was ready in a hurry, it made me think of the Knights of the Tarot. Always on the move, that suit is generally the age of the single man or woman in my eyes. So this could be a late night meal–what I used to call bar’thirty.

Efflorescent_12WandsToday’s card is just so I can share a recipe I shared on my blog in 2010. That’s all…just a yummy, recipe. Well, and a gorgeous card from the Efflorescent Tarot by Katie Rose Pipkin. He looks so focused and a bit weary to me. Maybe he needs a brain break. How about you? Let’s talk about food!

Food. I love food. I like food I cook. I like food other people cook. I like uncooked food. I just love food. I have an ongoing series of matching recipes to Tarot cards. I wanted this recipe to go in the Air/Swords category because it was a quick no-brainer kind of meal. The kind you throw together with whatever you have on hand. Since it went together in a hurry and was ready in a hurry, it made me think of the Knights of the Tarot. Always on the move, that suit is generally the age of the single man or woman in my eyes. So this could be a late night meal–what I used to call bar’thirty.

I thought about making it a Wands recipe since it is definitely spicy, but kept coming back to just how easily it went together. Here’s the story of how this casserole came to be. You see, I was hungry. I did not have money to indulge in a dinner out. Then I remembered. I had a can of enchilada sauce and some tortillas. HEY! I could have enchiladas.

I don’t know about you, but once I set my heart on a specific food, that’s what I want. I wanted enchiladas. Turns out, I only had three tortillas. So I improvised. I decided to layer those tortillas with all the yummy goodness of enchilada stuff. If it didn’t work, the only thing I would be was still hungry, right?

Without further ado, here’s my recipe.

Arwen’s Knight of Wands Enchilada Improvisational Casserole (I like to call it YUM for short)

You can improvise on the ingredients. I know I did!

3 flour tortillas
1 Cn green enchilada sauce
1/2 a big bag of Mexican Mix cheese
1/2 an onion, diced and fried in olive oil
10-15 jalapeno slices
2 tsp jalapeno juice
1 md chicken breast, cooked, slided or shredded
2 TBS cream cheese

I layered the following ingredients into an 8×8 square glass pan.

First layer:

  • Tortilla
  • Green Enchilada Sauce
  • Mexican Mix Cheese
  • Fried onions
  • Jalapenos
  • 1 tsp Jalapeno juice
  • Half a cooked chicken breast
  • More cheese
  • More sauceSecond Layer
  • Tortilla
  • Green Enchilada Sauce
  • Mexican Mix Cheese
  • Fried onions
  • Jalapenos
  • 1 tsp Jalapeno juice
  • Half a cooked chicken breast
  • More cheese
  • Cream Cheese on this layer
  • More sauceThird Layer
  • Tortilla
  • Cheese
  • Last of the sauceBake for 35 at 350 or until bubbling.This casserole turned out lovely. I did not need to add sour cream or salsa as I thought I might. It was flavorful and super simple to make. The leftovers had a better flavor but then that’s pretty par for the course. You want to let things sit a bit to really get that blended effect.So there you are. If you try this, do let me know what you think!

So I hope you enjoyed this. What’s a favorite food of yours? Wanna swap recipes? Feel free to pin this or share it on your Facebook or Twitter feed if you like

Knight of Wands, Efflorescent Tarot, Katie Rose Pipkin, self-published (There were 6 left but now there’s only 5. I’m grabbing a second copy so that makes 4. 😀 There’s a color version too.)

Seek Joy, Y’all! Pass it on!

Pssst! Only 23 days left to snag the workbook while I’m still giving away my Fairy Tales Tarot Spreads eBook.

Sticky, Icky & Gooey

It’s true. I collect recipes almost obsessively. I rarely actually cook them. More often I eat them in my head. 😀 But this one looked really fabulous and I wanted to make something for my co-workers. So I made this. Wrong.

Today’s card reminds me not to chase my tail so much. It also demonstrates how to make good where you expect bad.

One thing I’ve been doing over the years is assigning recipes to Tarot cards. Now this isn’t new. The Epicurean Tarot did this. Others have done or are doing this. This is simply my attempt to connect two of my loves. but I have to confess something here. I have an addiction.

It’s true. I collect recipes almost obsessively. I rarely actually cook them. More often I eat them in my head. 😀 But this one looked really fabulous and I wanted to make something for my co-workers. So I made this. Wrong. I made it all wrong.  This had another name but it ended up the Sticky Gooey Sweet Treat. Part of that is because, did I mention, I made it WRONG.

Because I made it wrong and it still turned out okay despite my anxiety about it, I’ve assigned it to the card of nightmares and tail-chasing. This is the card that reminds me when I’m over-analyzing things and causing my brain to go into “oh shit oh shit oh shit” mode. And usually, “oh shit oh shit oh shit” mode only needs to be “oops, that’s going to be different” mode.  My clients will hear me ask them what molehill they are making a mountain out of when the 9 of Swords surfaces.

Swords are the mental suit. The 9 is what happens when you lose your focus. There are always things to be genuinely concerned about, but too often we find ourselves doing what my Grannilu called “borrowing trouble.” That’s where you worry about things you can’t control or things that haven’t even happened yet. We build up something in our minds until we are so afraid by what might happen that we don’t even initiate the beginning.

“If I tell Boy X that I like him, he will laugh.”
“All of my friends will hear him laugh and know.”
“I won’t have any friends because they will all be laughing at me.”

We imagine the worse scenario possible. Every time. 😐 So that’s what happened to me with this dessert. I screwed it up so badly and it turned out okay. Nothing like the original recipe, mind you, but still it was all gone by the time I left work. So my imagined scenario of co-workers throwing up as they ran to the bathroom never panned out. (Still trying to decide if that’s a good thing or a bad thing…hee).

Nine of Swords Sticky Gooey Sweet Treat

1 box (16.5 oz. size) Yellow Cake Mix, Divided
1 whole Egg, Lightly Beaten
1/2 cups Butter, Melted
1 cup Sugar, Divided
3 teaspoons Cinnamon, Divided
1/2 teaspoons Ginger
1/4 teaspoons Ground Cloves
1/4 teaspoons Salt
1 cup Canned Sweet Potatoes (not drained)
3/4 cups Evaporated Milk
2 whole Eggs
1/4 cups Cold Butter, Diced

Cook Time 60-80 Minutes (yes, I mean that)

Preheat oven to 350. Get out an 8×8 pan. Expect the pan to get sticky and gooey. This is where I first went wrong. It called for a 13×9 but I thought, oh no! I can do it in an 8×8. I was right but it wasn’t what I expected.

Crust Step:

Reserve 1 cup of the cake mix for the topping. Pour remaining cake mix into a bowl, then stir in the one beaten egg and the 1/2 cup of melted butter until the mixture is combined. Smoosh it down on the bottom of the pan.

Filling Step:

Combine 3/4 cup of sugar, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, the ginger, cloves, salt, sweet potato, evaporated milk and 2 eggs together. Using a whisk, stir until smooth. Pause to place 8×8 pan with smooshed crust on cookie sheet. Pour over the crust. Watch in horror as it climbs up, up, up the sides of the pan. Grin because you have learned from my mistakes and put the pan on the cookie sheet already. You did put the pan on the cookie sheet, right?

Topping Step:

Stir together the 1 cup of reserved cake mix, and the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Cut in the 1/4 cup of butter dice using a pastry blender or a fork. Sprinkle evenly over the filling.

Bake at 350F for 35-40 minutes. Try to remove. Realize filling is not set. Bake for another 20-30 checking periodically. If the top jiggles only a little, call it good.

This received rave reviews from my co-workers.

Original recipe can be found (and made properly) here.

Nine of Swords, Rainbow Travellers, Carmen Waterhouse 2012

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on!

See the whole recipe index here.

Cups, Stewing & Kings

HA! I’m still on vacation. Actually driving home today. So let’s think of yummy food. Here’s a 2008 recipe for a great stew for the fall weather.

Waldherr's Goddess Tarot

The King of Cups is my secrets keeper. I see him as a very Scorpio man. Some assign him to Cancer, but for me, he’s just far better as a Scorpio. He is an emotional King who can see to the heart of the problems you bring to him. Of course, like Scorpio, sometimes he can be a bit sharper than most would like, but if you go to him for advice, expect him to strike with laser-precision at the truth of the matter.

For me, I think he would like a meal that nurtured while at the same time being easy to make. He’s a water guy so I had to give him a recipe that had a broth. The fact that there is wine in this is just a plus for him.

Read the recipe here.

Religion, Family & Cabbage

So she didn’t make my religious choice a bone of contention. And she certainly could have. She was a strong woman from some very strong women. In my family, the matriarchs have always stood out.

“Our religion keeps reminding us that we aren’t just will and thoughts. We are also sand and wind and thunder. Rain. The seasons. You learn to respect everything because you are everything.” ~ William Least Heat Moon 1939-

I was blessed with a mother who wasn’t overly religious although she was a faithful woman. She grew up Catholic, then raised my sister and I in the Episcopal faith. She attended the Methodist church with her second husband while beginning her drift back to her childhood faith of Catholicism. She allowed me, albeit regretfully, to leave the Christian path without making it hard on me. She didn’t like it. I know this. I also know that she wanted me to be happy and secure. So she didn’t make my religious choice a bone of contention. And she certainly could have. She was a strong woman from some very strong women. In my family, the matriarchs have always stood out.

My Mama had a German-Scot Mama and a Scot-Irish Papa. While her mama, my Grannilu, was not someone I remember as a good cook, Mama said there were good cooks in her family. She passed her love of starchy potatoes and stinky cabbage on to me with this dish. It’s one she found later in life. Like her, I’m a collector or recipes. I even cook some of them. 😀 She made this for me for one of my homecoming meals and I loved it then as I love it now. Even die-hard cabbage haters will fall for this treat!

Because it’s something I closely identify with Mama, I knew this one had to be a Queen (the Empress was already taken, sorry Mama!). The Queen of Cups might seem like the perfect choice but my Mama was a sharp edged Scorpio. She was funny–brilliantly so at times and almost always pointed and sharp insightful humor. I knew her as a widow most of my life (she remarried when I was in my early 20’s). Her friends were classy, stylish women (when they weren’t being redneck haints). She was a a classy, stylish woman and I adored her. She wasn’t the cookie-baking, soccer mom but she was the take-you-to-the-library, defend-you-tooth-and-nail mom. I’m lucky to have had the time I did with her. So she is the Queen of Swords to me.

Queen of Swords Cabbage Au Gratin

1 head cabbage, shredded
4 cups water
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup dry bread crumbs (divided)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 beaten egg
1-1/2 cup grated cheese (divided)
1-1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 pound bacon

Brown bacon, set aside

Cook cabbage in water 10 minutes. Drain.

Beat egg, cream and seasonings together.

Layer cabbage in casserole pan with egg mixture and remaining ingredients,except bacon. Reserve some of the bread crumbs and cheese for topping.

Place chopped bacon on top of casserole, dot with butter and bake in a preheated 350° F. oven for 30 minutes.

6 servings

Arwen says: Mama didn’t do the bacon and I don’t either. Just a sodium overload!

I hope you will let me know if you try this. I think I’ll make some this week. If you are Catholic, maybe you’d like to light a candle at Mary’s altar for my mama. Her name was Marilu. 😀 I’ll light a candle on my own altar. Don’t let religion come between you and those you love. It’s really not worth it. Instead, share a meal and a blessing that you have friends and family who care about you enough to worry about you.

Here’s to all of us. We are blessed to have the ability to choose who we call family. “You learn to respect everything because you are everything.” Thanks to William Least Heat Moon for that.

Potatoes, Hops & Lammas

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Welcome to the Lammas Tarot Blog Hop. This is the fifth one so far. I’m excited to be sharing space with thirty six other bloggers all sharing thoughts on this subject –‘’Pentacles : The Fruits of Harvest’’. If you are hopping from Sandie Worthy’s page, welcome! You can find your next hop at the end of my blog. You can also find my monthly Tarotscopes podcast here if that’s what you’re looking for. I know! 2 things at once. 😀 How bountiful.

This one was easy for me because I’m a mad fan of Pentacles. I adore the community aspect of them. My clients learn that I see the Earth suit (aka Coins, Stones, Plates, Discs, etc) as wealth in terms of what we have rather than money in the bank. It’s not about cold, hard cash to me. Pentacles are earth so they are about the steadfast, nurturing aspect of community. Wealth, in my worldview, is your family, your pets, your friends, your possessions, your health. It’s so much more than green folding stuff.

But Kareena, this hop’s wrangler, asked us to write a blog post on a specific card in this suit. That was a bit more difficult since there are so many cards that I love. I narrowed it down to my top six from my favorite reading deck (Elder of Earth, Guardian of Earth, Nine of Earth, Six of Earth, Three of Earth, Ace of Earth), then my top three (Elder of Earth, Six of Earth, Three of Earth). I did this by flipping through them super fast. My decision was based on nothing more than “yes” or “no”. I didn’t have any set thought in my head. Just let Spirit guide me. Then I used that same gut instinct to choose the Six of Earth from those last three. Interestingly enough, I thought I would end up with the Guardian or Queen of Earth.

This Six of Earth makes me happy. Two women exchange goods. One receives the beautiful sunflowers she wants while the other gets the cash she deserves. I’m very fond of farmer’s markets even though I haven’t been to one in Texas in nearly three years. I KNOW!

But today marks Lammas for me which is the first of the three harvest festivals. I am Wiccan and do celebrate the Wheel of the Year, but this blog hop is not pagan-based. Today is also the gateway between summer and fall. There is an emphasis on starting to put things up, put things back, store up the good. I have a friend who refers to her canned tomatoes as “saving summer.” I always liked that phrase even if I am more of a fall kind of girl.

I love to cook and have the body to prove it. One feature on this blog is my Tarot&Food series. One of my earliest offerings in this series was a How To Make Bread recipe.

But I wanted to share a new recipe here (I know…not totally Tarot, but you’ll have to forgive me). Not so strangely, the Pentacles is the suit with the most recipes so far. A perennial favorite has been my recipe titled The King of Swords’ Balls. I can’t imagine why so many search engine results keep hitting that page. But I digress.

The Six of Coins, for me is about generosity. One way I spread the wealth of Tarot is by giving away a free book on how to read Tarot intuitively. It’s on this page. Hint! Over to the right ( –>) towards the top.

Now about this recipe I wanted to share. This makes a generous amount of food and my sister is the one who generously shared her secret with me. I always loved her mashed potatoes. I had to ask her what she did that I wasn’t doing. And she taught me a trick for making mashed potatoes. I added her trick to my own secret ingredient and came up with a dish that people always ask for seconds on! If you combine this with a good milk gravy, you are set!

Six of Coins: Arwen’s AskForMore Mashed Potatoes

  • 3 lbs baking potatoes, peeled and cut into thin slices
  • Water
  • 1 sm onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 C heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 C sour cream
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Boil potatoes and onion slices until potatoes are soft. TIP: The thinner you slice them, the faster they cook.

Remove onions and pour off water leaving only potatoes behind. You can mince the onions and throw them in the gravy or just throw them away.

Add one stick of butter and begin mashing the potatoes. Start with a hand masher! As the potatoes work down, add half the cream. Keep mashing! Add the other stick of butter and the rest of the cream. Now add the sour cream. You may need to move to an electric mixer at this point, but keep mashing. Add salt and pepper to taste!

I advocate for tasting while you mash. You may need to add more seasoning or more milk (sour cream if you love rich, creamy potatoes). From the professional chefs among us, please use a clean spoon every time you taste. Thanks!

When the potatoes are whipped up creamy and smooth, slide the bowl into the oven on warm until ready to eat. Sometimes, I’ll put a bit of shredded cheddar (New York Sharp is my preference) on the top and let that melt all over the top. Oh yeah, I just made myself hungry. How about you?

Thanks for stopping by so I could chat with you a bit about Pentacles as well as share a recipe with you. I’m so delighted to send you on your way to J Jordan Hoggard’s place. Don’t forget to please, please, please take a moment to leave a comment for all the bloggers. It’s the only way we know you were here. And, grin, who doesn’t like a little acknowledgement. Want to see the Master List? It’s useful in case you stumble across a page that’s not up just yet.

Interested in the history of the Tarot Blog Hop? Read this write-up.

6 of Earth, Gaian Tarot, Llewellyn

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Tarot&Food: Taco Rice for the 2 of Coins

When you are in that mode, cooking can, by necessity, be a last minute, throw it together affair. So you need fast and easy meals that don’t make your budget scream bloody murder.

Yes, yes, I’m on a recipe kick these days. My recipe list, the Pagan Table, has risen from the ashes so cooking is on my mind again. 😀 Today’s recipe is a super-easy, very budget-friendly recipe. Because of that budget-friendly piece, I’m pairing it with the Two of Pentacles.

Why? Well I’m glad you asked! I’ll tell you why now. The Two of Pentacles can be a card that indicates having to juggle personal and professional as well. When you are in that mode, cooking can, Continue reading “Tarot&Food: Taco Rice for the 2 of Coins”

Tarot&Food: Arwen’s Oeufs à la Diable

“It’s that ole devil called love again
Gets behind me and keeps giving me that shove again
Putting rain in my eyes
tears in my dreams
and rocks in my heart.”

Now that song’s been sung by some of the greatest singers ever to grace our world — Ella Fitzgerald and Miss Billie Holliday just to name two.

Then we have the Rolling Stones and Guns-n-Roses chiming in with

“Please allow me to introduce myself
I’m a man of wealth and taste
I’ve been around for a long, long year
Stole many a man’s soul and faith

Yeah, the Devil even went down to Georgia according to Charlie Daniels. So what recipe could this Tarot card be paired with? Let’s explore the Devil card a bit first, shall we? Continue reading “Tarot&Food: Arwen’s Oeufs à la Diable”

Tarot&Food: King of Swords’ Balls

I’m green. No, really. Cut me and I bleed green just like a Vulcan. Or more correctly, just like a Girl Scout. We turned 100 this year. Happy birthday, us! The Girl Scouts have been fundamental in my life. They gave me extra time with my mama (she was my leader for years). They gave me my best friend forever AND ever (we met at a Girl Scout canoe clinic in 1977). They gave me two unbeatable life experiences (riding in a wagon train across North Dakota was one of those. Move Em’ Out 76). They gave me confidence and helped me feel more comfortable in my own skin.

In a word, they gave me balls.

Well, sort of.

They gave me porcupine balls to be exact. When we would go camping, we always looked for yummy things we could cook over the fire. Did you know I am an excellent cook even over a stone pit and an open flame? The things I can do! I can even bury a dutch oven and serve you apple pie later. Oh yes I can. But we aren’t at dessert yet. First we need to discuss the King of Swords’ balls.

I paired this with the King of Swords because he is a man of many swords. Like this recipe, he can be a bit prickly at times. This is a yummy (and super easy) entree. You can have your kids help you. They will enjoy the results.

King of Swords, Victorian Romantic Tarot

King of Swords’ Balls

1 Lb ground beef, lean (you can also use ground turkey)
1/3 C uncooked long-grain rice
1/4 C chopped onion
1/4 C water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 can condensed tomato soup
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 C water
1 tsp Tabasco, optional

Combine the ground beef, rice, onion, 1/4 cup of the water, salt, and pepper. Now for the fun part. Roll this up into walnut-sized balls. You can get 12-15 for a lb of meat. Set them aside for a bit.

Combine the soup, chili powder, and water in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Add meatballs; reduce heat, cover, and simmer over very low heat for 1 hour. Stir occasionally and be careful. You don’t want to beat the poor King’s balls to hard.

Serves 4 and just has to have some good bread and a salad to balance it all out.

Let me know if you try the King’s balls. I’d love to know what you think.

For the record? I really wanted to name this “Vulcans, Balls & Girl Scouts.”