Individual Cheeseless Margherita-Style Pizza

Personalized cheeseless vegetable pizza

Personalized cheeseless vegetable pizza

This colorful vegetable pizza is quick to prepare and filled with flavor. Preheat conventional or toaster oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit while assembling. Begin with Naan or unleavened flat bread. This recipe would be vegan if not for the possible ingredients used in Naan. Our naan is local but contains “DATEM”, which is an acronym for bread conditioners often containing animal ingredients.
Coat the bread of choice with just enough tomato sauce so as not to become soggy. Pesto is an excellent alternative!

Sauce covered bread.

Sauce covered bread.

Heap a generous portion of sautéed vegetables on top. I often choose the same selection of easy to come by garden veggies because I like them. These veggies were previously prepared and seasoned with intention for future entrees, like this one.

Add thick tomato slices or small wedges. Heirloom varieties, like this Black Krim, are known for their meaty texture, therefore; withstand heat well. Heirloom varieties contain higher levels of effective lycopene antioxidants, demonstrating a reduction of blood platelet aggregation. Our tomatoes were not ripening in the cool summer nights so I brought them indoors to save them from both animals and the elements, but only after a hint of color first appeared. This is the formation of lycopene, which continues to develop from the inside out.

Fresh Black Krim Heirloom Tomato

Fresh Black Krim Heirloom Tomato

Garnish with fresh basil to bring forth the flavor of these mouthwatering tomatoes.

Fresh plucked basil complements the sweet tomato.

Fresh plucked basil complements the sweet tomato.

Finally, grind black pepper overall to taste. We use a Turkish coffee grinder as our pepper mill, for a fine dusting of a tri-color blend.

Grind pepper blend to taste

Grind pepper blend to taste

Bake briefly at 400 degrees F directly on top oven rack for just a few minutes. The finished product will be hot all the way through and the bread becomes slightly crisp while remaining flexible. Try different sauces and toppings to suit your individual palate and needs, because it’s all YOURS.

Now that I have fed myself, I will go feed the tomatoes. They are still growing!

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Celebrating 150 historic years of healing with heart

Apothecary - Materia Medica

Reflections of the “Prince of Wales” Hotel in the equally historic “Niagara Apothecary”.

The Prince of Wales Hotel Restaurant and Spa celebrates 150 consecutive years of health and romance.  A short drive to Niagara-on-the-Lake (N-O-T-L) from Cleveland & nearby surrounding Great Lakes areas make it easily accessible. The Prince of Wales Hotel is sharing its year-long birthday observance with lovely Valentine’s packages making it the heartbeat of this historic town.  General Manager of this landmark Inn, Kelly Exelby, has arranged to celebrate with class, offering promotional packages blending luxury accommodations with four star rated dining for a sensual experience.

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Escabeche Restaurant at the Prince of Wales Hotel

The Hotel’s restaurant, Escabeche, boasts a sophisticated ‘Tasting Menu’ optimized by award-winning wines from the excellent local vineyards – “A culinary adventure to tempt your palate and satiate your desire.” The dining room is thoughtfully arranged with intimate seating providing privacy for a peaceful and leisurely dining experience proven to be digestively beneficial. Upon scheduling reservations and being seated, professional servers inquire if there are any dietary considerations or special requests. Escabeche designs a menu to meet your individual health needs.

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“Fall Vegetable & Upper Canada Ricotta Cheese Cannelloni”

Original dishes are kindly created with the freshest available ingredients from local resources. Every meal is therapeutic, positively stimulating all senses and further enhancing their notable “Secret Garden Spa” services. Menu modifications are not only willingly made, but suggested or recommended to meet specified health requirements. Chef welcomes challenges and understands food’s nourishing properties. Pictured dishes feature mushrooms like the chanterelle, chosen for their use in medical mycology. The Restaurant team will tap into additional menus from the adjoining “Churchill Lounge” to share ingredients for a personalized experience. Veteran ‘Garcon de Table’, Brad Kempsder, invitingly exclaims, “Let’s build something together.”

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Signature “Churchill Coffee”

The Churchill Lounge invites you to relax around the hearth and warm your heart with a cup of traditionally brewed high tea or their signature beverage, “Churchill Coffee”.  I have frequented the Churchill lounge over the years and enjoyed satisfying meals, indoors and out.  There is no limit to this condensed menu carefully crafted from the same fresh, locally grown ingredients characteristic of the Prince of Wales.

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Live musical entertainment at the Churchill Lounge

The palpable ambience vibrates with harmonic resonance while being treated to live, classic acoustic entertainment.

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Private cottage up the mews from the Hotel

Every peaceful, private room greets you like a big hug.  Each room is uniquely decorated inspiring the rich Victorian style in keeping with its 1864 establishment.

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Luxury accommodations

The Prince of Wales staff’s unparalleled services demonstrate their attention to detail. Fresh fruit and water upon arrival to your room, a fragrant rose bud placed on your pillow with care at evening ‘turn-down’ and handcrafted bath salts positioned on the private Jacuzzi tubs procure a personal touch. Accommodations are appointed with heated towel holders in the elegant and spacious bathrooms, adding to your memorable experience.

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Signature healing salts

Overlooking Lake Ontario, Niagara-on-the-Lake is in the Niagara peninsula just down river from Niagara Falls.  The area is surrounded by water generating energy, lending to this therapeutic theme.  The Prince of Wales amenities include a chemical-free indoor salt water swimming pool and hot tub, a vantage point from which to watch the weather overhead through the wall of windows.

Therapeutic effects

Salt water pool

BAPoWLobby

“Secret Garden” themed Hotel Lobby at the Prince of Wales

The pool room is above the “Secret Garden Spa”, whose tranquil facilities include a plethora of professional spa services, relaxation lounge with the promise of serenity.  Massage and regular exercise promote healthy parasympathetic activity by reducing blood pressure and heart rate, ameliorating cardiovascular disease. Homeostatic imbalances precipitate illness by compromising immune function. Adaptogenic herbs and foods also inhibit excessive catecholamine release substantiating the importance of complementary relaxation therapies.

Evening at the Prince of Wales

Evening at the Prince of Wales Hotel, Restaurant and Spa

The Prince of Wales Hotel Restaurant and Spa is located on the Main Street in downtown N-O-T-L, accessible by foot en route to shops, parks, The Shaw Theater, golf course, marina and several historic sites, expanding a refreshing exercise work-out.  An optional service provides transportation to wineries for care-free tastings!  For a more romantic adventure, a horse-drawn carriage is available just outside the door.

Evening at the Prince of Wales

Have a Reiki Day

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“Light Hands”, supplied internet image

The following are excerpts from a recent conversation with Ken Egbert, Reiki Master Teacher:

Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that promotes healing.  It is administered by the laying on of hands, the same energy that flows through any living thing, plants and animals.  Reiki energy has an intelligence of its own, directing itself to where it is needed.

Reiki is complimentary to almost any kind of treatment.  It can calm a person in need of mental and emotional treatment and also help with medical treatments.  It helps reduce the negative effects of medications, radiation and chemotherapy.  “Stress is the major condition I treat. Sometimes just the act of laying hands on someone who is feeling ill and low has great healing power.  In the process of Reiki healing, I too am healed.”

The ability to channel Reiki is passed from teacher (Master) to the student. This process is called an “attunement”.  Reiki has different levels.  In Reiki 1 you are taught the history of Reiki, hand positions for treating yourself and others and an attunement.  Some people are born with abilities that are enhanced by Reiki training and attunement.  The ability to channel Reiki grows with use.

Reiki 2 begins the incorporation of Reiki symbols, how to use them, a Reiki 2 attunement, and the ability to use distance Reiki.  Advanced Reiki Training (ART) includes more symbols, training in their use and another attunement.  ART gives you a Masters ability to give treatments, but does not include the ability to teach.  Masters training gives you the ability to attune and teach others.  “I am a Master Teacher.”

“My Higher Power led me to Reiki.  It was suggested to me that I should find a way to enhance and practice something related to healing.  She led me to Ursuline college where I received my training and all of my certifications.  I have been practicing Reiki since 2008. There are different types and styles of Reiki training available.  I am trained in Usui Reiki and am also trained and certified in Karuna® Reiki, which is a style developed by the International Center for Reiki Training.  I find my training in Karuna® Reiki enhances my abilities and gives me more options during a treatment.”

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Ken Egbert, Reiki Master Teacher

“I currently work at an amazing place called LivAwareMD, conceived and created by Dr. Martha Hackett.  Dr. Hackett is blessed with the ability to see beyond western medicine and provide people with the knowledge and resources to learn to heal themselves instead of just treating and maintaining their symptoms.”

“Reiki is of value.  I suggest to clients that they see me at least 3 times, with 2 weeks between treatments, unless illness or crisis dictates sooner.  I find that by the 3rd treatment their being (body, mind and spirit) has learned to love, trust and take the Reiki energy and use it to its fullest potential.”

Reiki has led me on an amazing journey from which I have seen miraculous healing and growth, both for my clients and for myself.  Reiki is the greatest gift I’ve ever received!”

The secret art of inviting happiness

The miraculous medicine of all diseases

Just for today, do not anger

Do not worry and be filled with gratitude

Devote yourself to your work. Be kind to people.

Every morning and evening, join your hands in prayer.

Pray these words to your heart

and chant these words with your mouth

Usui Reiki Treatment for the improvement of body and mind

The founder , Usui Mikao

My gift perpetuating purpose

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Botanical “Therapeutic Effects’

As I approach my second or third incarnation, I am getting back to my roots by re-visiting what I know about plants and herbalism.  Growing, and nurturing, harvesting and cooking, artisanal products for health and home keep me in touch with the earth and the never ending cycle of a parallel universe inspired by the aesthetic promise of the “Sidhe”.

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Artisanal apothecary

My healing arts are a lifetime culmination of gardening, art, writing and chemistry.  This is truly my element. I foster this self-expression through my many mediums including botanical art and photography.  My stewardship calls me to share knowledge, wisdom, experiences while learning along my path.

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“Reflecting Pool – English Garden” at Stan Hywet Hall

Our immediate community is as diverse as our garden, where plants, insects and animals alike gather on common ground.  We exchange “Boomerang foods” for sustenance, primarily during winter.  Together we promote ideas, trade secrets and recipes that have transcended generations.  We welcome neighbors to our patio over a glass of fresh-brewed sun tea…stimulating the senses…

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Fresh homegrown salad greens

Plants have a therapeutic effect on our Chronobiology and natural circadian rhythms.  They radiate a full spectrum of touch, fragrance, color, vibration, frequency and taste. Dr. Edward Bach, Microbiologist and Immunologist, recognized flower essences as the “life-force energy”, renewing our life-force within.  Herbs have symmetry, versatile and utilitarian, they serve in many forms.

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Materia medica – Inn Walden

Researching the anthropology of herbs and plants has given me an understanding of their place in our culture and ours within theirs.  We are spiritually one, complete and whole.  It is a lifestyle. It is a process.

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Research and writing desk

It is a means by which to live making, making a living and to live by.  The earth provides, we create then elevate.  It is simple. It is sustainable. It is a discovery.

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Wildcrafting recipes and notes

Propagating a harmonious and stable foundation with the promise of etheric energy is an ongoing practice. It is what I practice. It is how I live.

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Chem lab

It chose me.  This is my passion, this is who I am, this is what I know…this is my purpose.

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Gleanings from the Garden

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Sweet purple violet – BME photo credit

Today was the first, functional day of Spring.  Time to comb the beds, clear brush and open the patio.  The budding 11th season brings joy with the return of expected “friends” and the disappointment of losing others.  Throughout the multiple generations of plants, I never know what will return.  The ones I expect to find sometimes run their course, while others go dormant, skipping a season entirely!  Last year, we had a scare when our beloved 8 year old Hibiscus tree appeared to have parished.  The mature, 8 foot tree had become a community fixture in our neighborhood.  We had mourners who shared fond memories and condolences. One day in late May, I noticed something bright green out of the corner of my eye…

Its fate had been spared by the fact that we do not own a saw.  Removing its carcass was inevitable, and while I entertained methods in my mind, it made a dramatic return.  I trimmed 10 – 12 inches off each branch and with lots of water, balance of nutrients and the summer’s southwestern sun exposure; it made a profound comeback.  The neighbors rejoiced and I sighed with relief through the New Year.  We wrapped its roots in a blanket and made a loose fitting “hat” from a shower curtain to help retain heat produced by its energy.

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Anise hyssop – photo credit, BME

We are looking forward to a brand new season of colorful blossoms and sweet parfume fragrances all the flowers generate.  The cross section of herbs and flowers,vegetables and shrubs welcome all varieties of wildlife, who frequent our patio as often as we do.