Thursday, September 18, 2014

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

Healing Chicken Soup iPhoto by Cherie Bender
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 through your body, and you start to relax, you realize, hey tomorrow is another day. For now, be grateful that you are well fed.
This 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.
Makes 8 servings
Ingredients:
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
Preparation:
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.











Sunday, September 14, 2014

Cherie Bender's Glitter Book Of Magical Cooking ~Tahitian Rose~




~ Tahitian Rose ~ Pastel Drawing  by Cherie Bender
" Your heart is like a magical kitchen. If you open your heart, you already have all the love you need" Don Miguel Ruiz: The Mastery Of Love.

When I think of roses, I think of Love. But roses have an extra special meaning for me.
 My Maternal grandmother smuggled five fragile porcelain roses and one delicate porcelain candle-holder, hiding them under her clothing, while traveling through Germany. Thankfully, escaping Hitler and the atrocities inflicted on her people.  Grandma and Grandpa are my connection to my Jewish family history.
 Amazingly, I now have these celebratory roses, virtually intact,  decorating my festive table settings!  A fragile, beautiful, strong remembrance for me of courage, and faith through adversity.
  I treasure these porcelain roses as keepsakes of infinitesimal value and feel the power and endurance of love each time I set my table.
The pastel drawing above ~ Tahitian Rose ~ was created as the figurehead of my new Magical Cookbook,  inspired by these porcelain roses and my  garden rose, a Tahitian Rose of majestic loveliness, the scent of which intoxicates and inspires.
Within the synchronicity of reading Don Miguel Ruiz's enlightening book, discovering the chapter "The Magical Kitchen" and reading lots of amazing cookbooks on my journey, I feel truly blessed with  inspirational messages, healthy cooking, and wise counsel.
Food nourishes the body and soul. Faith nourishes the spirit. I am an artist combining her great loves in my Magical Cookbook. Of painting, of cooking, of aromatherapy recipes for beautifying the body and relaxing the soul.
Faith+delicious food = inspirational Magical Cooking! Recipes for beauty, health and longevity.
This is a fantastic opportunity and so much fun, sharing  my favorite recipes and illustrating them with my oil paintings, pastels and drawings.
 I am creating another  new drawing called ~Azulene~ a pastel with Swarovski crystals, highlighting the beautiful healing Chamomile flower, and  the benefits of a Magical Formula of Azure Blue: an essential oil formed by the German method of distilling the charmingly beautiful Chamomile flower. I will be showing ~Azulene ~ on my next post and sharing my knowledge of the amazing healing and calming properties of Chamomile.
References: The Mastery Of Love: Don Miguel Ruiz;
Flower Power: Flower remedies for Healing  Body and Soul: Anne McIntyre


Monday, August 11, 2014

Cherie Bender's Glitter Book Of Magical Cooking: Baby Strawberry Shortcakes

Strawberry Fairy Drawing by Cherie Bender
 These baby strawberry cakes are deliciously good for you!
Mixing almonds and oats into the biscuit dough gives an extra nutritional boost: almonds are high in monounsaturated fats, great for your heart. Oats lower cholesterol with beneficial phyto chemicals. Strawberries provide a high vitamin c source, and are a natural skin astringent.

Ingredients:
As always, please try to use only organic products:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/3 cup slivered almonds
1/3 cup plus 1 tbl natural turbinado unprocessed sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
6 tbl (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cubed into 1/2 inches
1 cup chilled heavy cream, divided, saving some for brushing
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, divided
4 cups hulled and sliced fresh strawberries
1 tbl Grand Marnier orange liqueur

To Prepare:
1 preheat the oven to 375 decrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2 pulse the flour, oats, almonds, 1/3 cup of turbinado sugar, baking powder and salt in a food processor until finely ground.
3 add the butter; pulse until only pea-size pieces
add 1/2 cup of cream and 1 teaspoon of vanilla; pulse until  large moist clumps form.
4 on a baking board, knead the dough until it combines. Pat into a 4 x 6 inch rectangle shape. Halve lengthwise, then crosswise into thirds. Arrange on the prepared baking sheet and brush with cream. Sprinkle with 1/2 tbl turbinado sugar.
5 bake and rotate the sheet halfway through cooking until golden brown on the edges, for approximately 20 minutes or when a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
6 set the biscuits on a wire rack, let cool.
(The biscuits may be made a few hours ahead of time and stored in a tight container at room temp)
7 combine the strawberries and the Grand Marnier, in a large bowl, mixing gently with a wooden spoon, tossing the strawberries often, and letting sit for a good ten minutes.
8 whisk 1/2 cup of cream, 1/2 tbl of turbinado sugar, and 1/2 tsp of vanilla in a small bowl until the cream forms peaks.
9 cut warm biscuits in half, place the bottom halves on plates, spooning the strawberries on top and covering with dollops of whipped cream. Top with the remaining shortcake biscuit halves. Garnish with sprigs of fresh mint for decoration.

I love the idea of an indulgent dessert that is also good for you! This is a perfect recipe to celebrate a new baby, a christening, or the addition of a new pet to the family. In fact, I just whipped this dessert up to celebrate, with a few of my closest friends, my adoption of another adorable Japanese Chin named Angel Claire Bodhi Bear. Which makes two; my first Japanese puppy being Dalai Lama Luck Dragon.
I hope you enjoy making this delicious recipe, and indulging in the luscious taste of healthy sweet strawberries!


References: Cooking your way to Gorgeous by Scott Vincent Borba












Saturday, July 12, 2014

Cherie Bender's Glitter Book Of Magical Cooking: Stuffed Peppers


Stuffed peppers are an excellent comfort food which may be saved in your refrigerator or frozen, for those days when nothing will satisfy but indulgence.  This recipe for my Fancy Stuffed Peppers is packed with lots of nutrition.
Fanciful Stuffed Peppers
Ingredients:
*All ingredients are organic & free-range*
Serves 4 people:

4 medium sized green peppers
4 baby portobello mushrooms, chopped
6 oz ground turkey
I jar of tomato sauce of your choice
1 cup Jasmine rice
1 diced sweet white onion
6 garlic cloves
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp Kosher or sea salt
ground pepper to taste
3 tbl extra virgin olive oil
5 tbl of red wine
1/2 cup Grated fresh Parmesan to sprinkle on top before baking, and some left over for serving

Preparation:
Trim and core the peppers, making sure the seeds are removed completely
 Par boil the peppers for 5 minutes in a medium size saucepan, lifting them out carefully with a wooden spoon so as not to damage the peppers
and set aside
Saute the garlic, medium heat, diced very fine, in the olive oil, until golden, then add the diced sweet onion, until a fragrant semi transparency. Then add the ground turkey, raising the heat for 6 minutes on high until the turkey is browned on both sides
Add the pepper flakes, and 1/2 tablespoon  of  nutmeg, making sure of an even mix. Add the red wine. Turn the heat down to low, and simmer, covered, for approximately 12 minutes, checking every five to make sure all ingredients are mixed evenly, then add half of the tomato sauce, mixing and simmering for an additional five minutes, or until the juices are absorbed, but the ground turkey is still moist.
Meanwhile, prepare the Jasmin rice according to the package directions
When the rice is ready, combine all ingredients together by adding the rice to the sauteed ground turkey mix in the saucepan. Stuff the peppers with the ground turkey mixture
Place the stuffed green peppers in an oven proof baking dish carefully, making sure they are evenly placed. Cover the peppers with the remaining tomato sauce, and sprinkle with the Parmesan, salt and pepper to taste.
Bake in a 350 oven for approximately 45 minutes, or until the peppers are nicely browned on top, and the tomato sauce is bubbling.
Remove carefully with a wooden spoon and serve. This dish is also more amazing reheated the next day, as a super-comforting lunch.
Enjoy!



Thursday, July 3, 2014

Cherie Bender's Glitter Book of Magical Cooking: Tropical Salmon

Tropical Salmon
I love this delicious pairing of sweet salsa with an amazingly tasty salmon, grilled and fresh. Perfect for a Summer night's repast. A wonderfully potent combination of anti-aging ingredients, and fantastic taste! A great source of omega-3's and many pluses of beautifying skin replenishing properties, this may even taste better the next day as a cold dish together with a salad. As always, try your very best to only use organic ingredients and ethically farmed fish.

This recipe is for two:
Salsa Ingredients:
1 Whole pink grapefruit, sectioned and diced
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup finely cut chives
3 tablespoons finely cut fresh mint
1/2 teaspoon either/or  red pepper flakes or 1 jalapeno pepper stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon honey or turbinado brown sugar

Salmon Ingredients:
Four or one large 6-once salmon filet, skin on
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Marsha's special Christmas seasoning, or Zatarain's Creole seasoning, or any other spicy seasoning of choice

Preparation: Tropical Salsa
In a glass bowl, combine all  of the ingredients, blending. Cover and store in the refrigerator for thirty minutes to marinate, before serving with the grilled salmon.

Preparation: Salmon
Preheat the grill to medium
Brush both sides of the salmon with the olive oil. Season the salmon on both sides with the seasoning of choice. Place the salmon on the grill skin side down, and cook for 3 minutes, then turn the fish 45 degrees and cook for another 3 minutes. Turn the fish over and cook for an additional 3 minutes, or until the desired amount of doneness, when the center of the salmon is tender and the surface springy.
Tip: the trick here is to watch the fish carefully during the grilling process and turning at the 45 degree angle really makes a difference, before grilling skin side up.

To Serve:
Remove the fish from the grill and spoon the salsa over the top, carefully removing and serving without the skin.
Garnish with a fresh sprig of mint.
Serve immediately in your finest serving dish, with a white Zinfandel, or sparkling white wine. A side dish of baked organic potato and organic baby carrots together with organic steamed broccoli is highly recommended.
I guarantee this dish to win over everyone's heart, absolutely delicious!

References: Cooking Your Way to Gorgeous, by Scott-Vincent Borba






Thursday, June 26, 2014

Cherie Bender's Glitter Book of Magical Cooking: Featuring the Feminine Healing of the Hibiscus flower



Hibiscus Flower: Photo by Cherie
The Queen Hibiscus is Feminine Healing and Fun!
For Healing:
Let's start with an infusion of this beautiful tropical flower, which can be found in the garden right about now, Summertime!
Alternatively,  dried organic Hibiscus may be purchased or dried yourself on a sunny day and saved.
It's always  better to make your own homegrown dried flowers: feeling the magic of creating something  healing with love, loving yourself and loving Planet Earth at the same time.
You make an infusion the same way you might make regular tea using the leaves and flowers: for dried 1 oz. or 2 oz. for fresh flowers and leaves, to 1 pint of boiling water.
Put the herbs in a warmed teapot, pour on boiling water, leave covered to infuse, about ten minutes, until the flowers lose their color, and then strain.
Honey and lemon may be added, with a touch of grated ginger to taste. This amazing Hibiscus flower tea helps heal sexual feminine traumas, balances the psyche and is a natural diuretic, which means good for cleansing and detoxing the body. In the summer heat, refreshingly iced, it soothes the feminine heart. A few cups daily either warm or as iced tea, helps balance and heal the sexuality of women.
The beautiful Hibiscus flower may also be made into a tincture, which is a concentrated extract of dried herbs and flowers: Use a ratio of 25% undiluted alcohol, such as brandy, gin or vodka, to water. Add one part herbs, to two parts of liquid.
Place the herbs in a large jar and pour the alcohol and water mixture over it. Leave to macerate, shaking daily for two weeks.
Then, using a wine press, or pressing with a wooden spoon, press out the liquid and discard the herbs, which make a very good compost! Store in labeled dark bottles, keeping away from sunlight. Save all dried flowers,herbs and tinctures in this manner.
The gorgeous Hibiscus flower as a tincture, is conveniently effective, is very concentrated and can be taken when traveling or away from home.
For Fun!
As an exotic drink, this Royal Hibiscus Margarita helps fight cholesterol and tastes delicious.
 Just Perfect for that "Thank God Its Friday" feeling. Here, in this recipe, paired with fresh squeezed Orange juice and agave nectar; sweetens and is good for you!
Hibiscus Reduction:
2 ounces dried hibiscus leaves, and petals.
3 ounces filtered water
Truvia Baking Blend
Sour Mix:
4 ounces raw agave nectar
4 ounces fresh squeezed orange juice
6 ounces water
Margarita Hibiscus TGIF:
2 ounces tequila of your choice
2 ounces hibiscus reduction
2 ounces sour mix
To Prepare:
1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, mix the hibiscus, water and Truvia. Simmer for 30 minutes, or until the color has gone from the petals. Remove from the heat, adding more Truvia to taste. Strain and cool.
2.For the sour mix, combine the agave nectar, orange juice, and water
Finally, shake together the tequila, hibiscus reduction, and sour mix. Strain over ice and serve in your most enticing Margarita glass.
This should yield a tart and crisp flavor. You may add more agave nectar per cocktail for added sweetness, and garnish with squeezed lime and a fresh hibiscus, per glass. To be drunk in good health, a Nectar fit for the Gods!
Photograph of Hibiscus by Cherie Bender
References:
Flower Power: by Anne McIntyre
Cooking Your Way To Gorgeous by Scott-Vincent-Borba

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Cherie Bender's Glitter Book Of Magical Cooking: Organic Fusilli Pasta

Organic Fusilli Pasta Dish
Pasta is food for the soul and spirit.
My dish is prepared with fusilli pasta but angel hair pasta is also delicious. Here's a traditional tri-colored pasta with oregano, basil, and chives from my garden; with organic tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, asiago or Parmesan shredded cheese and loads of organic garlic. I like to add a little fresh red pepper flakes dusted on top together with the traditional black ground pepper: Garlic, besides tasting good, is also wonderful for your skin, as it stimulates collagen production and is a natural disinfectant for the whole system. Be sure to eat this dish with love for yourself and with love for the wonderful people you will share it with!
Ingredients: (All ingredients are recommended organic and/or home grown)

This recipe is for four to six people:
Fusilli Pasta: 1 package
tomatoes:  2 Heirloom   
fresh cut chives: 1/2 cup
fresh cut oregano: 1/2 cup
fresh basil: 1 1/2 cup, cut with scissors, saving one floret
extra virgin olive oil: 5 ~ 8 tbl 
garlic: 6 cloves crushed
Cooking time: 22 minutes 
First, set the pot of filtered water to a rolling boil. I never find it necessary to add olive oil, you may add a dash of Sea Salt.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, start to saute the crushed and minced garlic in the extra virgin olive oil on medium heat. When the garlic reaches a golden color add the tomatoes, chives, and oregano. Turning the heat down slightly, add the basil, reserving a floret for decoration. 
As these ingredients are sauteing, the water should now be at a rolling boil. Quickly add the fusilli pasta, using a wooden spoon stirring a few times to make sure none stick to each other or the bottom of the pot. Boil for approximately 10 minutes or until a taste test for al dente. Which means "to the tooth" with a slight resistance in the center when the pasta is chewed. 
Strain the pasta in a large colander, never, never rinsing with cold water: this is a popular misconception but only results in tasteless pasta! When the pasta is completely strained, turn the sauteing ingredients down to low heat, quickly toss the pasta evenly in the pan. Transfer to a decorative dish and top with grated pepper, a pinch of Sea Salt, the grated cheese and  the saved sprig of basil.  
Voila!  Food for beauty, health and longevity.
Food for all the angels in heaven and earth: enjoy!