Friday, March 18, 2016

Nysa Poland: a family photo

I'm overjoyed to share the good news that my Cappuccino kitchen I'm building is almost: aaaalmost ready!
Nine months ago, in July of 2015, I conceived my idea of creating a Magical Cookbook that would transform peoples lives with my art and my joy of cooking because I felt strongly, that when you are fed with love, many blessings follow. 
I wanted to have cooking parties, to be video'd with my friends, and with guest chefs, in a beautiful kitchen, overlooking my herb garden and roses. I wanted to take videos of how I relax before a party, including taking herbal baths with rose petals by candle light. I wanted to take videos of me picking herbs and choosing organic, free-range ingredients at select grocery stores. And, I wanted everyone to have fun at my cooking parties!
As a background history I include in this blog entry one of  my family photographs of Nysa, Poland, wherein I show my roots. Because, although I grew up in Edinburgh, Scotland, my Daddy was from Poland.
 We had a Polish chef in Scotland and we would speak Polish together while he would make special Polish treats for me that were so delicious! I will be including some of these evocative Eastern European recipes in my Magical Cookbook to be, illustrating with my paintings, drawings, and photographs. I have already illustrated one of my grandpa's favorite recipes of blue-berry soup with my sketch of one of my favorite Gnomes, found on my website:
So you can see, my childhood memories of a kitchen are about the comfort and warmth to be found with just a cuppa and maybe a scone drenched in jam. For, as a child, I loved the snow and ice as long as I was inside in front of a nice, cozy fire where I felt safe, snug and warm, eating a special treat and not worried about a single thing. This is part of my Magical Cookbook's essence.

I will be including in this, my Magical Cookbook, tried and true personal recipes from my stash, from my friends and neighbors, from family members and recipes from people who inspire me such as  Julia Childs, a fabulous American chef and food pioneer who also lived in France and had so much fun cooking on TV, and Nora Ephron, the director who wrote Heartburn, including her favorite recipes in a personal life story, plus the cookbook author Ina Garten of Barefoot Contessa, to name a few.
My aim for my Magical Cookbook is to please both the eye and the palette, humbly capturing the warmth and comfort of delicious good food, with healthy recipes focusing on Beauty, Good Health, and Long Life, illustrated with my paintings drawings and photos.

I now Fast forward to the present moment: adding to this magic would be a lovely meal served with grace, on beautiful china with linen napkins  and exquisite silverware: In my Cappuccino Kitchen! But, I must add, a simple free-range Shepherds pie loaded with organic vegetables in a ram-kin would more than suffice: Freshly Baked from the oven and Piping Hot. Satisfyingly delicious.

 I am working on my Magical Cookbook now, as my Cappuccino kitchen is being born. I am researching recipes from my stash of great cook-books written by my mentors and planning on recipes that include essential oil cocktails, flower power drinks, awesome healthy meals, and All are made with a lot of fun and with excellent good health in mind. I also plan on having cooking parties and doing videos, as I had mentioned, in my Cappuccino Kitchen.
So look for news about my ideas for cooking parties, as they will be included here.
I had thought of writing my Magical Cookbook a few years ago, very inspired by Julia Child and her amazing cooking journey.
So now, my dream is finally happening! I am awesomely grateful for the opportunity to share my love of art and my love of cooking.
 I hope that Cherie's Magical Cookbook will inspire, nurture, enthrall and capture you as I have been while creating this for you.
What is life without good food? Friendship? Ambiance? and Color?
Love of cooking and love of art: for me they go together: Cherie Bender's Glitter Book Of Magical Cooking: an unusual cookbook.
Many Blessings!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Summer Of The Goddess: Part 2



A Magical Self Portrait:

"There are only two kinds of women, goddesses & doormats"

..Picasso is infamous for his wicked sense of humor in art & in life. I adore the man, he amuses me. His art inspires & stimulates my imagination. Ive read everything I can get my hands on about him. I even ordered a huge picture-book from Amazon which weighs a ton, but has tipped in gorgeous prints of Picasso's delicious work. 

So, granted, now Ive claimed the man & artist to be very important to me, I must confess this self-portrait I did one beautiful Sunday, in the late afternoon, was inspired by the quote above. Plus, I love the idea of fairies. I would love to be one. Right now, I'm just an artist highlighting the most sparkles everywhere. Enjoy!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Cherie Bender's Glitter Book Of Magical Cooking: Healing the Natural Way

Featured: Pastel With Swarovski Crystals:
              Guava Goddess, by Cherie Bender

Having found myself in quite a lot of pain from one of my fingers, the fingernail of the index finger on my right hand (not the best place to have a sudden vicious reaction to laundry detergent and dish-washing soap) especially not for an artist on a deadline. I investigated on the internet for a natural homeopathic solution.
As my finger was swelling and all work on my latest art project stopped, I was happy to discover four of my kitchen ingredients to be the perfect healing solution: apple cider vinegar and fresh garlic; then Honey and cinnamon
First, I soaked the poor hurting finger in a solution of 1 part apple cider vinegar to 2 parts lukewarm water for 15 minutes. Letting the vinegar dry naturally, I then broke open a garlic clove, slicing it in half and gently rubbed around the entire nail bed and under.
Within literally minutes, my finger started to be soothed, and stopped viciously throbbing.
I then mixed equal parts honey and cinnamon and applied with a small bandage. I Left this on for a few hours, drawing out any remaining sting and resultant infection.
Happily, my right hand and its index finger are on the road to recovery via ingredients in my kitchen!
I always knew I could survive in the jungle with just a few natural ingredients and a little homeopathic know-how!  I'm a Goddess who loves healing with nature. Its always best with the body, Ive found, to treat it with gentleness, and be kind. Throwing a lot of antibiotics at a physical hurt mostly results in the body being thrown out of balance. Then work must be done to bring back the balance. Treating in the natural way causes no harm and is just as effective, while costing very little. A much safer and healthier way to go in all aspects.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Love Thoughts for Valentines Day 2015

Pre Valentine's 2015 Thoughts
I'm watching the birds this morning, feeding from the bird feeder in front of the kitchen window.
I especially love the red cardinals, who mate for life. The male watches over the female as she feeds, safe in his hideaway, a ficus hedge. He patiently and willingly lets her feed for a long time before he claims his own. I love that! How wonderful, I thought, to experience this kind of unselfishness generous and patient love. I desire to have that in my own life! Loyalty is everything.

I am sharing this story with you, because there are also less unselfish and actually very greedy birds that I feed. Such as the morning doves, who also mate for life. They fight over their territory and only allow certain birds to share in their stash. Sometimes they get so rowdy, they smash into things by accident (no casualties as of yet)

Viva La Difference! We humans can willingly change our behavior through our decisions. It is not ever too late to experience unselfish and unconditional love. It starts with us. I truly believe we can rise above our baser instincts and transcend into freedom.

Valentine's day is the day set aside for love, "a perfect day to go within and glance back with affection and understanding at your real life journey so far...... we'll need courage to retrace our steps. But 'courage is the price that Life extracts for granting peace', the pilot Amelia Earhart reminds us... 

Today is the day for being. Be with those you love, be kind to yourself. Be quiet and call forth the dreams buried long ago. Those embers are still glowing in your soul. "See them in your mind, hold them tenderly in your heart" advises Sarah Ban Breathnach, author of Simple Abundance, A Daybook of Comfort and Joy.

Today is the day to just be in the moment, within the perfection of now! The only Now we have. 

Be with the ones you love with gratitude.
Many Blessings to all.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Imagination - Oil painting on wood: 18"x30"

 An opportunity to view everything in a whole new perspective, tailor made for unlimited success, abundance, and great good health! Here's an illustration I created for an earlier campaign, called "Imagination" Oil on Wood 18"x30" Its our choice how we direct our thoughts. Be as a new born baby and think outside the bubble!

Friday, October 10, 2014

~ Cherie Bender's Glitter Book Of Magical Cooking ~ Chilled Blueberry Soup

Magical Gnome Drawing by: Cherie Bender
My maternal grandpa was a fabulous cook. One day, he made for me cold blueberry soup from the old country. This was my first taste of a delicious soup that could be served cold on a hot Indian Summer afternoon. Blueberries are rich in vitamin C and bilberry, great for your eyes. My Magical Garden Gnome introduces this  healing, refreshing recipe for eye and brain support.
As always, try to use only organic ingredients!
This recipe serves four:
5 cups fresh blueberries
4 cups filtered water
1/2 cups turbinado sugar
2 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp. nutmeg, ground
1 cinnamon stick 3"
1/8 tsp. kosher or sea salt
2 cups yogurt, plain or blueberry
4 thinly sliced lemon
In a large saucepan, combine  blueberries, water, sugar, lemon juice, nutmeg, cinnamon stick and salt. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Discard the cinnamon stick and pour mixture into the blender or food processor, blending until smooth.
Pour into a large  decorative bowl, cover, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
To serve:
Stir yogurt into soup in a swirl pattern. Garnish with lemon slices and fresh mint or dill.
Enjoy my grandpa's special blueberry soup when a refreshing light meal is desired. Meanwhile, know you are healing your body and eyes with a delicious refreshment.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Cherie Bender's Glitter Book Of Magical Cooking: Healing Chicken Soup

Healing Chicken Soup iPhoto: by Cherie
Nourishment and love are contained in my amazingly healing chicken soup. The recipe was given to me by a good friend, and I know it works!
 Almost immediately, as the warmth begins to travel throughout your body, you start to relax, and realize tomorrow is another day. For now, be grateful that you are well fed.
My Healing Chicken soup may be made ahead of time and stored in your freezer by the bowl-full. Just take out and unfreeze when the need arises, adding fresh cut mint for sore throats, oregano to help combat infection, and basil for boosting your immune system.
Makes 8 servings
All ingredients are free range and organic 
6 cloves garlic, crushed and diced
6 tbl oregano
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh oregano
1/2 cup fresh chives
1/4 cup fresh mint
2 stalks celery, diced
1 cup diced carrots
1 small sweet white onion, diced fine
1 cooked yellow corn, remove corn from husk, makes 1 cup
6 large lemons, juiced with seeds removed
4-6 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)
1 whole free-range organic chicken, cut into quarters by your butcher
2 cups tricolor Fusilli pasta
2 small red tomatoes, diced
1 avocado, as topping
Shredded parmesan cheese, as topping
ground black pepper to taste
Kosher or sea salt to taste
1. In a large stainless steel skillet, saute the garlic and onion on med/high heat in the extra virgin olive oil until golden
2. Add the chicken pieces to the skillet, skin side down. Turn and brown until golden on both sides
3. Add the 6 tablespoons oregano and 1/2 of the squeezed lemons. Now you may also add the white wine. Lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes with the lid on
4. Turn the chicken pieces once more, add the rest of the lemon juice. Return the lid and simmer on low for another 10-20 minutes.
Set aside
5. In a large pot, fill with salted filtered spring water and bring to a rolling boil
6. Add the tricolor fusilli pasta. Boil until al dente and then carefully add the chicken & ingredients from the large skillet into the large pot
7. Cover and simmer on low, for one hour, adding the fresh chopped oregano, 1/2 of the chives, and the mint, within the last fifteen minutes of cooking. Remove the chicken bones
8. Serve in attractive soup bowls, with chopped avocado, parmesan cheese and chives as toppings.