« August 2011 | Main | October 2011 »

September 2011

The Practical Magic Blog Party ~ Dragons Breath , Pumpkin Soup and more!

Pm party
I'm so glad that you decided to join us! Autumn parties are just so much fun and especially one that's inspired by my favorite movie, Practical Magic! I hope you're ready   for a fun evening; The horses are hitched and ready for a moonlit hayride and shots of Dragons Breath are waiting on a tray for you in the parlor. Be careful though as they'll definitely take your breath away! I've left you a few of my favorite songs....remember that you can turn them off at anytime by simply pausing the ipod, (just like you would in real time!)

When you return from the woods you'll most assuredly be hungry so there's pumpkin soup waiting in the kitchen along with fresh tomato sandwiches and a steaming mug of my fresh sage, ale and apple tea! Just go curl up by the hearth and I'll be back in a few moments to read your cards for you! Who knows? Will this be the year for abundant good fortune or romantic blessings? I'm sure that I see good luck and much love in YOUR future.......

If when you leave you want to conjure some of that delicious Dragons Breath at home all you'll need is :

1 jigger of Absolut Pepper vodka

3 dashes of your favorite hot sauce (I use tabasco Chipotle for a smoky kick!)

1 jigger of drambuie

Shake with a little bit of ice and pour into your favorite shot glasses!


If you'd like to try the Sage tea all you will need is:

1 quart of fresh apple cider

2 cups of white grape juice

2 bottles of hard cider

1 cup of fresh sage that you have tied into cheesecloth so it can steep

Several long cinnamon sticks

Maple syrup to taste

Put all ingredients into a pot and bring to a simmer.  Let the tea simmer slowly for at least 10 minutes and serve each mug with a slice of sugared apple and fresh fall grapes. 


And, here is my recipe for Enchanted pumpkin soup.....

Take a chunk of excellent butter and melt it in a soup pot. Add several chopped spanish onions and a shallot or two! Saute the onions until they are translucent and add 3 large cans of cooked pumpkin and several quarts of really good chicken stock. Bring the whole of it to a simmer and let the flavours brew! The magical ingredient here is chunky peanut butter!!!!!! I whisk in a cup of it or even more depending upon the taste. After it has simmered for about 20 minutes, stir in a quart of organic half and half. I always use organic milk or cream if possible because I've discovered that the texture is much finer and the taste is just that much better. 

Add salt and pepper to taste and about a tablespoon of good curry powder or pumpkin pie spice if you like it! You can also add a 1/4 of a cup of Calvado's (an apple brandy) if you'd like. I've also made this soup with butternut squash, halved and roasted with butter,olive oil,cinnamon and a bit of real maple syrup. I usually roast about 4 large acorn squash to get the amount of pulp that I need. The canned squash just doesn't seem to have the nutty flavour that the roasted does and the texture is exquisite. Making this will take some extra time, but I promise you that it's worth it. A lovely glass of wine and a bit of cheese while you're waiting should make the task really bearable, let alone the aroma of the roasting squash!

This soup will stand alone as a meal with a tossed salad with some ripe pear, pecans and warm camembert cheese or as a starter for a wonderful roasted pork tenderloin. I've also served it with grilled gruyere cheese and apple sandwiches. 

I'm sharing this space with some pretty fabulous bloggers who are hosting parties of their own! Please go to the  Practical Magic Blog Party to read them all and show them some love!


Blessed Be my dears and much love to you all,

The Windesphere Witch


Welcome to the Practical Magic Blog Party!

Well if you're going to have a party than the first thing you've got to do is decorate! So I spent a spent a few hours at my favorite place in Chagrin Falls, The Village Herb Shop and picked up a few treasures! Lots of potpourri, scented candles , some fancy caramel tea and of course a fancy new "The Witch is in " sign and last week when I was in Asheville, I just couldn't resist theses delightful stars!

Welcome to the Practical Magic Blog Party!

Welcome to the Practical Magic Blog Party!

Welcome to the Practical Magic Blog Party!

Welcome to the Practical Magic Blog Party!

Welcome to the Practical Magic Blog Party!

It's a Practical Magic Blog Party! Join me and my friends tomorrow for Midnight Margaritas and more!

"You know the stuff everyone whispers about me... the hexes, the spells?

Here's the thing. I'm a witch!"

Eat drink and be scary
Join me tomorrow for the 2nd annual Practical Magic Blog Party , hosted by the fabulous Frosted Petunias! In honor of my favorite movie I'll be serving my Midnight Margaritas and more. To experience even more Practical Magic, go this link Practical Magic Blog Party and enjoy all of the wonderful treats waiting for you written by some of the most talented bloggers that I know. Before you leave please enjoy a bit of Stevie Nicks....but remember to pause the Ipod above so you don't have to listen to both at the same time!

Brought to you because "there's a little witch in every woman!"


Miso soup with Sweet Potatoes and Kuzo Noodles



Okay , it's definitely turning into Autumn and it's the perfect time for a simple cleanse filled with comfort foods that nurture and prepare us for the long cold months ahead. I turn to root vegetables like sweet potatoes and squash at this time of year because they warm me up and help me stay focused and grounded. Miso soup is one of my favorites in the fall and it's so easy to make. I fill mine up with vegetables , kuzo noodles and spice and the delightfully earthy aroma keeps me warm and happy! If you've never tried miso (fermented bean paste) you're really missing a treat. Not only is it delicious but it's one of the top 5 ingredients used for health and weight loss. A bowl of this soup will satisfy you at lunch with a salad or if you want to eat it for dinner I'd serve it alongside a butternut squash that you've baked with a bit of olive oil, cinnamon and maple syrup!

To make about 6 servings you will need:

8 cups of water

1 cup of brown rice miso

2 tablespoons of "no chicken" chicken soup base

1 teaspoon of chinese 5 spice powder

2 tablespoons of minced garlic

2 cups of diced sweet potatoes

2 cups of diced butternut squash

2 cups of diced smoked tofu

1 bunch of rainbow chard cut into shreds

1 package of sliced mixed mushrooms

1 bunch of green onions diced

1 bag of Kuzo noodles (delicious clear noodles made from Kudzo starch)

Place all ingredients into a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Boil for about 5 minutes and reduce the heat while stirring. simmer for about 30 minutes stirring occasionally. That's it! Serve with a garnish of chopped peanuts and enjoy! This soup likes a bit of beer to wash it down like a nice Belgian light ale with a wedge of orange squeezed into it or perhaps one of those delightful pumpkin ales that will show up in the markets in October!

Enchanting Objects! The Grovewood Gallery in Asheville North Carolina

Last week when Jim and I were visiting in Asheville we had the opportunity to see many beautiful galleries filled with gorgeous mountain handwork. This was one of the best! Beautiful furniture , fiber arts and jewelry and lots of ceramics made The Grovewood Gallery one of my favorite stops! Visit them at www.grovewood.com


Beautiful, curvy, curly handpainted silk scarves!

Enchanted Objects! The Grovewood Gallery in Asheville North Carolina


The handturned wood is just gorgeous.....


Enchanted Objects! The Grovewood Gallery in Asheville North Carolina


Some of the loveliest handmade clothes that I've ever seen!


Enchanted Objects! The Grovewood Gallery in Asheville North Carolina


You know that I can never resist a Christmas Tree!


Enchanted Objects! The Grovewood Gallery in Asheville North Carolina


And a delightful bit of Dulcimer for your lullaby!



It's a Gypsy Blog Party ! Off dancing in the moonlight with a naughty band of Gypsy's!

Picnik collage

I've always wanted a real gypsy wagon for my horses and although that will probably always be more of a dream than a reality when the opportunity came up to be a part of the Gypsy Blog Party with the invitation to "Pull the wagons around the fire" I couldn't resist becoming a part of it!  Many thanks to my new friend Celia, whom I've just met but who has inspired me to dream big! Please be sure to go to "My Gypsy Dreams!" and enjoy the fabulous creativity of the wonderful women who are sitting around this luscious circle with me!  

Because I'm a writer, lifestyle designer and definitely a dreamer, the thought of having a space that is all my own really appeals to me. I don't have one yet in our new house, I currently share an office with my husband, but this started me thinking about what it might look like if I had  a little room of my own.  Currently the closest space is my kitchen, but I've started thinking about this really comfy little space that's in our bedroom. When we redid our home, we added an extra closet and it divided the space in half leaving a space that is just the size of a wagon. It's got an overhead light built in for reading and it's got two gorgeous windows that overlook several trees and an antique lilac that blooms gorgeously purple , exquisitely scented bushels of flowers in the spring.

The walls are painted cream and navy blue, so the colors will be a perfect foil for all of the bright color that I'm craving. It's currently allright but not fantastic. I haven't been satisfied with it yet and I finally know why. As soon as I return from North Carolina I'm going to start, I'm so inspired!  I can't wait to  fill it with everything that I love, a comfy chair like the one that I'm currently nestled in filled with pillows to curl up in and one for my laptop,  a beautiful teapot and a little pie table to sit my teacups on. I'm going to section it off with a shoji screen that I'm going to drape with all of the beautiful textiles that I inherited from my mother, who would have completely adored the idea! There WILL be chocolate, lots of wonderfully scented candles, a tray for all of the delightful perfume that I get to review and plenty of room for my cats! I'll post pictures of my progress and a full unveiling when it's complete, but for now here's a little bit of inspiration! After all, what gypsy lady doesn't dream of Johnny Depp playing his guitar just for her round the fire.....


Or Lawrence Llewellyn - Bowen to help her decorate!


HUZZAH! The Perfume Magazine has arrived!


Calling all Perfumistas!



Hello Girls (and perfume loving gents! The utterly fabulous Raphaella Barkley is back with The Perfume Magazine (Formerly Sniffapalooza Magazine) and I am here to promise you that it is FABULOUS! We've got something for everyone and all of your friends are here, the classics, vintage perfumes, exciting Indie perfumers, dazzling niche scents and effervescent naturals that make our scented world so special! We've got reviews, contests, giveaways and interviews with some of the worlds finest noses and because you requested it, we've got an exciting Perfume Magazine Forum and we're all there to chat about perfume and answer your questions!  


So brew a lovely pot of tea and curl up with your laptop and your favorite pussycat in a cozy chair by the fire.  You may also want a large yummy pitcher of mimosas because you'll probably be there for quite awhile! 

So wiggle your nose and click on the "Calling all Perfumistas" link above to whisk you there!




When the Fair comes back to Town....

Many of you have heard me speak of the meal that I would wish to eat if I knew that it would be the last that I’d ever have. Would it be gourmand or simple, fat ,sugar and grease? To me my last meal IS all of the above but hopefully I’ll go to meet my maker many years from now on Labor day weekend because the only time that I can have this wish come true in it’s purest form is when the great Geauga County Fair, the oldest fair in the grand ole state of Ohio is running at full throttle! This year, my beloved fair is 188 years old and it’s still going strong!
If you’ve read my Windsphere Witch blog before, you know that I used to own a small horse farm in the country, a place that I named Windesphere because it was up on a hill with a sparkling artesian spring that ran through it. It was situated in the old civil war hamlet of Burton Ohio, a wonderful little town where they still make their own maple syrup, apple and pumpkin butter and once a year this sleepy little town comes alive with ferris wheels , heavy horse pulls and the finest fairway of food that I’ve ever seen!
I’ve been to fairs everywhere, but none have ever supplanted The Great Geauga Fair in my heart. For 5 yummy days there are farm animals everywhere, pumpkins the size of chairs and the 4H kids running all over the place with their fancy chickens , goats and cows take you back to a place and time in the world where things were just a bit simpler. There’s an apple pie contest which is brutally competitive and of course the draft horse hitch classes which I simply adore. When we made the hard decision to leave Burton almost a decade ago I made my darling husband promise me that he would bring me back to the fair every year as many times as I wanted. Incredible man that Jim is, he’s lived up to that promise, going with me almost everyday even when he doesn't want to!
I'm like a kid there and I love to spend hours there with my camera and my stomach, working up an appetite as I walk around enjoying all of the sights, smells and sounds. Farmer in my heart that I am still, I adore checking out the hay, talking to the old farmers about this years conditions and running my fingers through the fresh oats and feed corn. I love to see the flower arrangements made with dahlias the size of pie plates and the table settings, handsewn quilts and the antiques. I even entered the flower arranging contest one year and won first prize. It was such a thrill!
Fried cheese

Eventually I’ll make my way to the fairways….first stop? Roasted sweet corn dripping with salt and butter! Next? Well if you’ve never had deep fried swiss cheese on a stick with a good dollop of mustard than you don’t know what you’re missing. Dipped in real cornbread batter and handed over meltingly sweet and piping hot this is food for the goddess. Hand cut and deep fired sweet potatoes dipped in a bit of salt and fresh maple syrup? Ambrosia all washed down with a giant mug of brich beer. A late night snack of the finest beef jerky ever? Absolutely! My husband adores the fresh milk chocolate shakes from the 4H stand and the pierogies drenched in onions and the garlic bratwursts but I never stray from my true hearts desire. This is seasonal food at it’s best and it wouldn’t taste nearly as good to me at any other time of the year. The entire atmosphere is a natural perfumers delight full of scents fruity and floral, pungent and animalitic and my long time favorites…newly mown hay , heavy horses and sweet windfall apples. The entire place becomes a five day feast for the senses that makes it easy to contemplate climbing back into Autumns heavy sweaters and Wellington boots!
I’ve been to the fair twice so far this year and right now I’m about to get up and go yet again! Every year I’m tempted by something new (deep fried snickers bars anyone?) but I always remain true to my meltingly oozy , dripping and savory swiss cheese on a stick. So I’m curious? Are any of you obsessive fair goers like me? And what do you like to eat when you’re there?
You can see some pictures of my beloved fair at http://geaugafair.com/index.html
My article originally published on Perfume Smellin Things - 9/5/2011