Monday, May 14, 2018

#BehindTheStory - Crow Magic



Crow Magic, is about a Native American shape shifter. I was asked how I attained my interest and knowledge of Native American legend and lore. My response became a story.


After the Civil War, my great-great grandfather, Gardner Avery, left his New York regiment to settle with his wife, Helen Greenleaf Kern, in a rural area near Grand Rapids, Michigan, named Jamestown. He kept a diary, which remains in the family, of his daily activities and expenses. On the land he purchased to farm, a tribe of Native Americans resided. The couple let the Potawatomi continue to live and hunt on the land.

Potawatomi Warrior
Over time they developed close friendships with many of the tribal folk. My great-great-grandmother became very close to the medicine woman of the tribe who taught her the use of herbs in food and healing. The Avery’s interest in the art of the tribe eventually led to them learning how to make the Native American pottery. Through stories shared around meals, they learned the spirituality of the Native Americans.

At the time, Grand Rapids was one of the first large scale trading posts used by the Ottawa, Potawatomi and the Chippewa. My ancestors learned valuable information from their relationships with these tribes, which lead them to have a successful farm and healthy family. Despite the Avery’s wishes, the government forced the tribe off the land and into a reservation. According to family legend, Helen and her dearest friend spent the last days together. After hugs and many tears, she stood in a field and watched the tribe travel until they were out of sight.

The information, stories, and traditions my ancestors learned have been passed down through the
generations. I grew up listening to the stories my grandmother told of visiting the farm and her grandparents. She also shared aspects of the Native American spirituality and showed us how similar it is to Christianity.

 In the 1950s, my grandparents purchased property and build a cottage on Coldwater Lake, not far from Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. We spent many summers at the cottage, where we collected arrowheads we found in the local sand pits. A Chippewa family owned a cottage near ours and “Indian Dave” would share their stories, dances, and traditions with us while we sat around a bonfire.

I could say the knowledge of herbals and spirituality lives in me because of the ties of my family with the tribes of Michigan and beginning embraced by each generation of my family.


To add to my family history, my cousin’s father was from a Seminole tribe and my brother-in-law is a descendant of a French Trader and Blackfoot Indian woman. Funny, how a person with the Welch/Swedish/German heritage I have, can be neatly blended with Native American legend and lore. Grandmother used to tell us that our legacy isn’t only family blood but also the land we live in.


Indian Dave
Eagle Dance is Book 2 in the Legend of the Spirit series and features another Native American shifter from the Chippewa tribe who is looking for a special woman who will love him for who and what he is. Indian Dave's spirit makes an appearance.









Saturday, May 5, 2018

Happy Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for "fifth of May") is a holiday that commemorates the Mexican army's victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. The date is perhaps best recognized in the United States as a date to celebrate the culture and experiences of Americans of Mexican ancestry.

Special events and celebrations highlight Mexican culture, especially in its music and regional dancing. Grab some friends and host a party or spend the night in with your honey. Prepare a Mexican meal, make some margaritas, throw a couple Mexican blankets over the couch, light some candles and create your own sensual adventure. Check local costume shops for Cinco de Mayo outfits and do some role playing or dancing.





For some amazing Margarita recipes check out The Best Margaritas of Texas.





Visit the Food Network for some yummy recipes to celebrate the holiday.



If you need help turning a hum-drum day into a Mexican fiesta you need a little help from CHEF AARÓN SÁNCHEZ. Sanchez is the Owner/Executive Chef of Centrico & Paladar as well as a Food Network Star & Cookbook Author Award-Winning Chef. Check out his website.


Friday, May 4, 2018

#WeekendRomance #Food&Wine

I love chocolate (the darker, the better).
I love cherries and I love wine.

 On a whim, I bought a bottle of Cocobon Wine. I liked the description on the lable.
Experience Cocobon, a harmonious blend that tantalizes the senses and transports you along a spell-binding journey to Nirvana. Become immersed in deep crimson tones that deliver decadent aroma and flavor, from dark cherry to rich vanilla, mocha and cocoa.
Oh the lable wasn't kidding!  This beverage is an orgasm for the tounge.
When inhaling the arroma, the scent was sharp but sublte with only the faintest hint of berries.  The smell carries dark raspberries with vanilla and the flavor is even better. At first you taste a rich full flavor of red fruits. The soft, mild tannins were completely overpowered by the luscious flavors of rich vanilla and dark chocolate. This powerful combination then melted into a blueberry finish with just a hint of bite to help the flavor linger on in the mouth. Even after you swallow, the flavors continue to dance on the back of your tongue.
I highly recomend to enjoy this drink slowly for the wonderful experience! 
Perhaps the wine is so appealing because it was created by a lady winemaker Georgetta Dane.
It takes a woman to know what a woman really wants in a wine!
She continues her journey at Cocobon, where she harnesses the power of all her senses and creates a Zen-like balance at the intersection of art, science, and soul.


Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Tasty Tuesday - Oatmeal Cookie shot

I belong to a Coffee Club, a fun group of Divas who drink coffee when we meet in the morning. But when we meet at night...we just drink.  On Friday, I was given an Oatmeal Cookie and I don't mean the one with oats & raisins.  It was delicious.

Ingredients

  • 1-ounce Jagermeister
  • 1-ounce Irish Cream Liqueur
  • 1-ounce Butterscotch Schnapps
  • 1/2-ounce Cinnamon Schnapps
  • Raisins, for garnish, optional

Directions

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass over ice.

Here are a few variations.

Dirty Oatmeal recipe

This is a layered shot - the Bailey's must be on top.


Oatmeal Cookie recipe

Pour ingredients into a stainless steel shaker over ice, and shake until completely cold. Strain into an old-fashioned glass, and serve.


Oatmeal Raisin Cookie recipe

Combine ingredients in equal parts in a shot glass.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

#TastyTuesday - Double Chocolate Cookie Bars

We all have days when we need a little pick-me-up.  Chocolate is a great indulgence for an emotional lift.  This is a delightful treat.... try it on your next blue day.

2c finely crushed Oreos (approx 24 cookies)                 
1/4 c margarine or butter, melted
2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips (12oz)
1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1tsp vanilla
1 c chooped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350'.  Combine crumbs and margarine; press firmly on bottom of 13x9 inch baking pan.  In medium saucepan, over medium heat, melt 1 cup chocolate chips with sweetened condensed milk and vanilla.  Pour evenly over prepared crust; top with nuts and remaining chips.  Bake 20 minutes or until set.  Cool.  Chill if desired.  Cut into bars.  Store tightly covered at room temperature.  Makes 24-36 bars.