Imbolc Giveaway

I want you all to go buy a copy of Imbolc. Of course I do… but I also want to give you something in return.

From now until February 2nd at midnight, if you purchase a copy of Imbolc from either Amazon or Smashwords, click here to send me the receipt – I’ll send you a copy of Yule in your chosen reader-format PLUS a sneak peek at Ostara, absolutely free. If you’ve already got Yule – I’ll put your name down, and send you the complete copy of Ostara when it’s ready to go. < |:^) And, if you're on Twitter or Facebook, follow/friend to retweet or share the links when they come through. There's always something waiting to be given away, just around the corner! Follow me on Twitter: bychwych
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Jodi Lee

Pumpkins – Not Just for Scaring Anymore!

My youngest, Draco, received two medium sized pumpkins today. She only wants them for the seeds, which is fine… I want them for the fleshy bits.

I love pumpkin. Pumpkin pudding or pie is my favorite, followed closely by Grandma’s Pumpkin Loaf, and of course Pumpkin cookies. Thanks to a friend online, I was pointed to a site that had the following recipe (originally credited to Libby & All Recipes) for Pumpkin Whoopies.



2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
1 cup LIBBY’S® 100% Pure Pumpkin (or prepared fresh pumpkin)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Filling:
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar


For cookies:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease or line four baking sheets with parchment paper.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt in medium bowl. Beat butter and sugar in large mixer bowl on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add pumpkin and vanilla extract; beat until smooth. Stir in flour mixture until combined. Drop by heaping measuring teaspoons onto prepared baking sheets. (A total of 72 cookies are needed for the recipe.)

Bake for 10 to 13 minutes or until springy to the touch. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

For cream cheese filling:

Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl on medium speed until fluffy. Gradually beat in powdered sugar until light and fluffy.

Spread a heaping teaspoon of filling onto flat side of one cookie; top with flat side of second cookie to make a sandwich. Repeat with remaining cookies and filling. Store in covered container in refrigerator.



For bars:
4 eggs
1 2/3 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt

For topping:
1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

In a medium bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, oil, and pumpkin with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Stir into the pumpkin mixture until thoroughly combined.

Spread the batter evenly into an ungreased 10×15 inch jellyroll pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in preheated oven. Cool before frosting.

To make the frosting, cream together the cream cheese and butter. Stir in vanilla. Add confectioners’ sugar a little at a time, beating until mixture is smooth. Spread evenly on top of the cooled bars. Cut into squares.



3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup applesauce
4 eggs
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two loaf pans, or three small size.

In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, soda, salt, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. Stir well. Add applesauce, eggs, pumpkin, and water. Mix batter with mixer. Stir in nuts. Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until tester inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm.



Cleaned, dry pumpkin seeds
1/4 c olive oil
seasoning salt (or other seasoning mixture)


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray cookie sheet with non-stick spray. Toss cleaned, dry seeds in olive oil, spread evenly on cookie sheet. Sprinkle with seasoning salt and bake for 20 minutes or until golden-brown.

Surrendering Ritual & Recipes

One of the main reasons I’ve decided to work through a bunch of recipes in the coming weeks is that I’ll be doing a six week long ‘surrender’ ritual – starting late evening on Ostara, and going through until our ritual gathering at Beltaine. Our Surrender ritual involves giving up something for the six weeks prior to a major event: for me, Beltaine will mark my re-dedication to my personal path.

This is, I suppose, similar to Lent, and not the first time I’ve done it. In 1999, when I initiated a student and dedicated to my current path, I gave up red meat for the six weeks prior to Beltaine. I’m not sure I can do that again, although it may be just what the spiritual doctor ordered. If I could get the girls to go with it, it might be a good idea for all of us to go entirely meat-free for these six weeks.

Coffee was a suggestion, as was cola and black tea. Perhaps Artemis could give up candy, and Draco could give up her x-box…. Hmmm.

Surrendering Ritual

42 white birthday candles

Every morning, light one candle and repeat: My lady, I surrender myself to your light. Please help me through this day as I surrender my desire for (insert what you’re giving up). So mote it be.

Let the candle burn half-way, then repeat the ritual in the evening before bed, using ‘night’ instead of ‘day.’

Thoughts are, as always, appreciated!

Meanwhile, we’re trying these recipes out tomorrow, to have for our private Ostara (just the girls and I) on the 19th. While I’ve made Clapshot before, it was a recipe that didn’t have turnip, and so this will be different.


6 med potatoes (red or white)
1 lrg swede (commonly known as rutabaga or yellow turnip)
1 sm onion
2 finely chopped green onions, or
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives
salt & pepper to taste

Peel and chop potatoes and swede into same-size pieces, peel and chop onion. Put all into a large pot, cover with boiling water and simmer until soft. Drain.

Mash with milk, butter and season to taste. Serve with pan-fried cabbage, and oven-roasted sausage.

Leftovers can be fried all together for breakfast the next day (Bubble & Squeak)!

Pan-fried Cabbage

1 pound bag pre-shred cabbage (Coleslaw Blend)
1 sm onion, cut in half, sliced thin
2 tbsp butter
small amount of oil

Put oil in bottom of heavy, deep frying pan and heat on medium. Add onion and butter, cook to just tender, add cabbage, cover and reduce heat to low. If necessary, add a small amount of water, remember to stir often.

You’ll know it’s cooked when the shreds are soft, and slightly carmelized. Season to taste.

Serve with pretty much any English meal.

Oven-Roasted Sausage

2 lbs farmer, kielbasa, pork or beef sausage
Bullseye barbeque sauce, HP sauce, or hot mustard

Pre-heat oven to 350*. Cut sausages in half length-wise, set in baking dish flat side down. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove from oven to turn and cover each piece with your choice of sauces. Kielbasa is excellent with hot mustard, bangers (pork sausage) or beef sausages are wonderful with HP sauce and of course, that leaves barbeque sauce for the farmer sausage (aka smoked pork sausage). Return to oven for 15-20 minutes, check often.