Stilton Pear Cheese Ball With Pistachios + Pink Peppercorns

Stilton Pear Cheese Ball With Pistachios + Pink Peppercorns || This cheese ball is a perfect appetizer for a holiday party or dinner! Cream cheese, blue cheese, pear, pink peppercorns, pistachios + honey. Serve with crackers, bread, or vegetables. || creamandhoney.ca
Stilton Pear Cheese Ball With Pistachios + Pink Peppercorns || This cheese ball is a perfect appetizer for a holiday party or dinner! Cream cheese, blue cheese, pear, pink peppercorns, pistachios + honey. Serve with crackers, bread, or vegetables. || creamandhoney.ca
Stilton Pear Cheese Ball With Pistachios + Pink Peppercorns || This cheese ball is a perfect appetizer for a holiday party or dinner! Cream cheese, blue cheese, pear, pink peppercorns, pistachios + honey. Serve with crackers, bread, or vegetables. || creamandhoney.ca

Hey! Olaiya from Milly's Kitchen and I are back with week two of our holiday blognanza (we're making it a word). I made this cheeseball which is so easy a child could do it. So hand the knife over to your toddler and let me know how their cheeseball turns out, okay? I take it back, please don't do that. Their dirty little hands will be all up in that cheese. I love kids! But they are gross. I mean we all are, but they're gross in front of people. I always stick my hands in food behind closed doors. Olaiya has been working on this awesome gift guide for you! From food and drink to books to the-hard-to-shop-for-person, she's got some great ideas for all the loved ones in your life so check it out!

My vision for this cheese ball is to that it's served at a retro party. One with sequins, sexy jumpsuits and windows sprayed with fake snow from aerosol cans. Disco, funk and classic Christmas carols are playing as people dance around the tinseled tree. Ladies with winged hair and men in colourful polyester suits and afros are practicing ‘the bump’ and drinking eggnog. The table is covered in a plastic tablecloth printed with poinsettias. The cheese ball, canned ham, cocktail weenies, and melon balls are laid out ready to be eaten. Vegetables and dips of ranch or sour cream sit beside the tin of Quality Street chocolates. No one speaks about dairy or gluten intolerances because it’s the 70s and they don’t believe in nonsense like that. They believe in pet rocks, wood panelled walls, smoking on airplanes, optional seat belts and good old-fashioned hitchhiking. Now who wants to play Parcheesi?!?!

Jk, I don't know how to play Parcheesi. But it has the word cheesy in it. And there's your smooth segue to a cheese ball. Wow, I write good. The goodest perhaps.

This cheese ball is delicious. The best on day two actually. I would 100% bring it to a party and eat it all at said party. Then I'd leave with a stomach ache because it's too much cheese for any one person to ingest. The best part about a cheese ball– if there's leftovers you can reform it for your next party or your own personal snack.

Stilton Pear Cheese Ball With Pistachios + Pink Peppercorns || This cheese ball is a perfect appetizer for a holiday party or dinner! Cream cheese, blue cheese, pear, pink peppercorns, pistachios + honey. Serve with crackers, bread, or vegetables. || creamandhoney.ca
Stilton Pear Cheese Ball With Pistachios + Pink Peppercorns || This cheese ball is a perfect appetizer for a holiday party or dinner! Cream cheese, blue cheese, pear, pink peppercorns, pistachios + honey. Serve with crackers, bread, or vegetables. || creamandhoney.ca

Holiday Party Tips (section two)

 

How To Bring Your Best Self To The Party (or life)

We can go through life (or parties) on autopilot. Reacting to every interaction or stimulation that comes our way. This isn't a bad thing but it doesn't necessarily reflect who we truly are or desire to be. It's important to sit down with ourselves and relax, take in the day we've had and then move on with a fresh outlook. Often parties happen after a long day at work or maybe something happened in the day that throws us off. This section is to remind us that a party is supposed to be fun and relaxing, so let's not bring our emotional baggage along. Here are some questions to ask yourself before attending a gathering. 

How Can I Cultivate My Best + Brightest Self?

Before attending (or hosting) a gathering, take some time to get into a good feeling place. Here are some things that help me leave negativity behind and reset myself.

  • Deep breathing. Set a timer for as little as two to five minutes, close your eyes and breath deeply. Count your breaths in and out and think about each exhale releasing the feelings and events of the day. You don't need them anymore so let them go.
  • Stretching. Stretching is great for relaxation because we hold tension in our muscles and joints. Stretching helps release stress and allows us to open up physically + mentally. Five to ten minutes of yoga will have you feeling more grounded and positive.
  • Have fun getting ready. No need for getting ready to be a chore, sometimes it's my favourite part of the day. I like to pour myself a glass of wine and put on some music while I slowly get ready. Take your time, don't rush yourself. Life will still be there when you're done. Getting ready slowly gives me time to play with thoughts like "how do I want to feel?" or "What version of myself do I want to bring to this gathering?" This helps me take stock of where I am in that moment and how I can cultivate my new vibe. 

But I'm Tired 

  • Nap. This one is huge for me. Especially if I've worked the whole day. Cat naps are my favourite, you wouldn't believe what a 15 to 20 minute nap will do for your mood! You don't even have to be asleep– laying down peacefully with your eyes closed is just as effective for rejuvenation. I'm a whole different person when I get up.
  • Tea time. Brew a green or black tea and sip as you get ready. I prefer to drink tea before meeting up with people opposed to coffee that can leave you feeling jittery.
  • Shower to freshen up. Usually I'll do all three of these things if I'm in need of a serious perk up. Works every time.

What Should I Bring?

Besides your adorable self?! Let's see. There are two kinds of parties. 1) The gathering where the host supplies the food. If it's BYOB, then do that (or mocktail ingredients if you don't drink). If it did not specify to BYOB then bringing wine or a nice bottle of sparkling water is always welcome. I would refrain from bringing food if the host hasn't asked because they've taken the time to plan a menu. Say they're serving a traditional Italian meal their dead Nona bestowed upon them and you walk in the door with a bowl of green jello to serve alongside the tiramisu. They'll feel obligated to put it out even though Nona hated green jello with a passion. An unexpected dish will also take up room in the fridge or on the table that may not be available. 2) The potluck. Bring only food that is fully prepared or ready to eat. At most, a quick heat up in the oven upon arrival. Anything else creates extra work for the host. You don't want to be that person who shows up with a raw pork chop like, “it just needs to brine for an hour, marinated for thirty minutes, cooked in a cast iron pan and drizzled with grade A maple syrup." Now the host is stuck in the kitchen instead of enjoying their party. 

Did I RSVP?

I don't know, did you!? RSVP! And RSVP ASAP. OK? FYI it's rude to go MIA even if you're all TGIF, capiche?! The host needs to plan for food, drinks, seating etc, so be courteous and give them a heads up so things run smoothly.

Can I Bring Someone?

Probably! Or probably not. Depends on your host, I'm putting words in their mouth. Call and ask them! But definitely ask in case they're serving bacon wrapped chicken in a lamb stomach and your guest happens to be vegetarian. Awkward. 

What Do I Talk About At A Party?

Anything you want! It's a party so have fun and conversate! But actually, stay away from these topics:

  • Belief system conversations– like abortion, politics, religion and Donald Trump. Here in Canada pretty much no one likes Donald Trump but he's still a yuge downer so avoid this topic at all costs.
  • Work Talk. Try and refrain from too much talk about work even if coworkers are there. Nothing drains me more than coworker friends getting on a work rant while I'm trying to pretend I'm a wealthy artist-philanthropist who's docked her yacht and is slumming it for the night with these wild characters. Can't a girl dream!?
  • Complaining. Negative talk feels bad for you and everyone around you. It's a party so keep it fun and do what you need to before arriving to clear your mind of negative vibes. For help with this, read the first question.

When Should I Arrive?

Whenever they told you to arrive. But not early. And not too late. Unless you're coming to help the host prepare, avoid arriving early. The last 15 to 30 minutes is important for the host's finishing touches. A spritz of essential oils, a last minute clothing change (or five), a shot of vodka followed by affirmations in the mirror– let them have that time. If you arrive during these things, they may feel obligated to entertain you and it can throw off their mojo. You don't want to be a mojo thrower do you? Well, do you!?!?

Stilton Pear Cheese Ball With Pistachios + Pink Peppercorns || This cheese ball is a perfect appetizer for a holiday party or dinner! Cream cheese, blue cheese, pear, pink peppercorns, pistachios + honey. Serve with crackers, bread, or vegetables. || creamandhoney.ca
Stilton Pear Cheese Ball With Pistachios + Pink Peppercorns || This cheese ball is a perfect appetizer for a holiday party or dinner! Cream cheese, blue cheese, pear, pink peppercorns, pistachios + honey. Serve with crackers, bread, or vegetables. || creamandhoney.ca
Stilton Pear Cheese Ball With Pistachios + Pink Peppercorns || This cheese ball is a perfect appetizer for a holiday party or dinner! Cream cheese, blue cheese, pear, pink peppercorns, pistachios + honey. Serve with crackers, bread, or vegetables. || creamandhoney.ca

Notes:

Make the cheese ball (without rolled nuts) the night before. The flavours were substantially better after I let it sit overnight. 

Feel free to substitute goat cheese or any other soft cheese you like for the blue. Blue cheese isn't everyone's cup of tea but all the flavours would work well with goat.

Substitute the pistachios for walnuts, pecans or almonds if you prefer. I like the pop of green from the roasted pistachios but any of the others would taste great. 

Stilton Pear Cheese Ball With Pistachios + Pink Peppercorns || This cheese ball is a perfect appetizer for a holiday party or dinner! Cream cheese, blue cheese, pear, pink peppercorns, pistachios + honey. Serve with crackers, bread, or vegetables. || creamandhoney.ca
Stilton Pear Cheese Ball With Pistachios + Pink Peppercorns || This cheese ball is a perfect appetizer for a holiday party or dinner! Cream cheese, blue cheese, pear, pink peppercorns, pistachios + honey. Serve with crackers, bread, or vegetables. || creamandhoney.ca
Stilton Pear Cheese Ball With Pistachios + Pink Peppercorns || This cheese ball is a perfect appetizer for a holiday party or dinner! Cream cheese, blue cheese, pear, pink peppercorns, pistachios + honey. Serve with crackers, bread, or vegetables. || creamandhoney.ca

And lastly, avoid breaking all your wine glasses. You'll have to pretend your water glasses are cool new stemless wine glasses that give the appearance of really being water glasses. They're supposed to be like that, okay?

Wishing you many fun + joyous gatherings this season!

Meg                                                                                                                                                                                            xx


STILTON PEAR CHEESE BALL WITH PISTACHIOS +

PINK PEPPERCORNS

the magic

inspiration:               70s retro christmas

the feels:                   soft, crunchy, creamy

eat with:                   crackers, bread/toast, vegetables, anything                                        that's scoopy, figs, wine– cabernet sauvignon,                                    cabernet franc, riesling, port, dessert wine

might like if you're into:   roller skating, disco hits, stinky cheeses,                                            beaded doorways, Happy Days, Donna                                                Summer, mood rings, 8-tracks, shag carpet

the science

makes one large cheese ball || prep time: 15 minutes chilling time: a couple hours

ingredients:

  • 250 grams (8 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 150 grams stilton cheese (or any other blue you like), at room temperature
  • 1 pear, diced into small cubes (mine were about 1 cm)
  • 1 cup of shelled roasted pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 1.5 teaspoons crushed pink peppercorns (or any other colour)
  • 1.5 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (scant)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced

method:

  1. Ensure that your cheeses and butter are at room temperature so they will mix evenly and easily.
  2. In a small bowl add the pear and lemon juice (this prevents the pear from browning). Toss to mix. In a medium bowl, add cream cheese, stilton cheese, butter, salt, and honey. Mix until evenly combined. Add diced pear and peppercorns to cheese mixture. Fold in until evenly distributed. 
  3. Place cheese mixture in a large piece of saran wrap. Shape into a sphere and wrap up. Place in the fridge for a minimum of a few hours or overnight to let the flavours settle together and so the cheese can firm up. 
  4. Lay pistachio pieces on a place or shallow dish. When cheese is firm, remove from fridge and roll in the pistachios until fully covered. You can serve it to guests immediately or cover it up in saran wrap and keep it in the fridge until guests arrive. Leave it out for 15 to 30 minutes before serving. Serve with honey, crackers, bread, and/or chopped raw vegetables.

Will keep in the fridge for up to a week or so if securely wrapped in plastic.

Pine Shortbread Cookies

Pine Shortbread Cookies || Classic shortbread biscuits with pine are a perfect winter dessert or Christmas gift. Simple to make and can be frozen for a snack when guests drop by over the holidays. || creamandhoney.ca
Pine Shortbread Cookies || Classic shortbread biscuits with pine are a perfect winter dessert or Christmas gift. Simple to make and can be frozen for a snack when guests drop by over the holidays. || creamandhoney.ca

Happy Holidays!!! Am I allowed to say that yet? Okay, happy pre-holidays! Is that better? I don't want to be like Wal-Mart playing Christmas music way to early and everyone's like, “It's only November, give it a rest!". But I will say that I'm getting excited for the holidays and for the soon-to-be posts I'm dreaming up. I'm teaming up with the amazing and talented Olaiya from Milly's Kitchen to bring you all a Wacky-Holiday-Fun-Time-Blog-Party-Extravaganza!!!! With balloons! Okay, not with balloons. Or half those words. But we are doing weekly posts leading up to Christmas that are going to be awesome! Olaiya has also got these hazelnut amaretti cookies for you right now over on her blog and let me tell you, they are looking delicious and divine and perfect for the Wacky-Holiday-Fun-Time-Blog-Party-Extravaganza. They keep well, they're easy to make and will impress any guests or loved ones you gift them to. I'm bringing you these festive and aptly seasonal cookies made with pine. Like pine needles straight from the tree. I baked 25 cookies and my partner and I ate them unreasonably fast. In 48 hours which equals six cookies each a day. Is that too many? I think it might be. These cookies make for a perfect gift because of the following reasons:

  1. They're cookies. Duh.
  2. They're easy to make.
  3. They freeze well. Actually I prefer them directly from the freezer, they taste extra decadent. 
  4.  People will be all, “oooo pine?! How rustic and seasonal." and you'll be like, “pine is the new chocolate chip bitch.
  5. You can tell people they're foraged pine cookies. People love that shit, they eat it up. But make sure you're clear that the pine is foraged and not the cookies, like you “foraged" them from the dumpster behind Wal-Mart. (Wow, Wal-Mart's getting a lot of exposure on here today. They should pay me. This is not an ad for Wal-Mart, I don't even shop there. Unless there's a really good deal on something which there always definitely is so then I do.)
  6. You can decorate your cookie tin or box with a sprig of pine to match– tie it on with some twine like all the Pinterest guys and gals do. But yours will be foreshadowing what's to come! Make it a guessing game. They get three guesses and if they're wrong, you get to keep the cookies. “Really Susan, you guessed wreath before pine needle cookies? I guess not everyone is cut out for guessing games. Maybe stick to rock-paper-scissors next time." Jk don't say that, Susan is a nice lady!

A note on foraging evergreens. Do not forage from the tree below. It is a Yew tree and is poisonous. They are usually shorter, more bush like trees and sprout these hallow red berries that definitely look poisonous. All pine, spruce, fir and cedar trees are okay for consumption. Ponderosa pine should be avoided when pregnant. Balsam Fir needles can look similar to yew needles. The difference is Fir needles (and Hemlock) have two white strips on the bottom and Yew needles will be green on both sides. 

Yew Tree || creamandhoney.ca
High Park, Toronto || creamandhoney.ca
Pine Shortbread Cookies || Classic shortbread biscuits with pine are a perfect winter dessert or Christmas gift. Simple to make and can be frozen for a snack when guests drop by over the holidays. || creamandhoney.ca

I'm also going to be giving tips each week on how to have and enjoy your holiday parties. Because there's nothing worse than having a party but not being able to enjoy it. Maybe you overextended yourself or invited certain family members out of obligation. And now all the punch is gone and Uncle Al's wearing your sheepskin rug as a kilt while gyrating his hips to Santa Baby. (There may be no way around this one, Uncle Al is a force of nature). 

Working in hospitality has made me very... what's the word? Hospitable. It can make some people bitter and complainy because serving all kinds of humans isn't an easy job but it is always a surprise. You never know if someone will leave a big tip and make your day or sexually harass you. It's a trip guys! I basically host a party every shift– the mood has to be right, your rapport with guests is key and the food should be delicious. You must also be able to read people's minds or you will get a bad Yelp review but not see it coming because when you asked them “How is everything?" and they said “Everything is great!", you believed that everything was great. Surprise! They hated it all. I don't want your party to get a bad Yelp review. So I'm here to help you avoid uncomfortable situations and give you suggestions on how to create an awesome stress free party and how to attend one and be a good guest. 

Holiday Party Tips (section one)

 

Planning The Party

Planning the party is half the excitement. You get to imagine how much fun it will be, dream up a menu and place bets on who will get the drunkest and who will make out with whom. While planning, we must ask ourselves some pertinent questions that will affect the party like:

What time of day will the party start?

3 pm for old people, 5 pm for families with kids, 6:30 to 8 pm for adults, 12 am for guests from Spain. 

What type of party will this be?

Is it a holiday brunch? Sit down dinner? cocktails and finger foods? Raging kegger?

Who will you invite? 

A guest list is important to get clear on. This will set the tone of the party. You don't want grandpa mixing up his Lipitor with Jake's MDMA so maybe stay away from an all-in-one-party if this is the case. You can always have two parties! If you are hosting elderly people, they tend to like magnums of cheap table wine (they always mention how good the value is). Also make sure to turn the music way down, that's the first thing elderly people ask at a restaurant. So turn it down. Then turn it down some more because it's still too loud. What? You can't tell if it's on anymore? Yep, that's the sweet spot. If you are hosting a larger party with lots of drinkers, this means you'll need to prepare by purchasing lots of booze or making it BYOB. You may consider having a designated puke area (my suggestion is an outside bush so there's no clean up after!).

Before planning the menu, do any of your guests have dietary restrictions?

Be extra careful of peanut allergies (possible death), deadly nightshade (certain death) and dairy allergies. These people poop a lot and it's embarrassing for them and unpleasant for your post-party clean up. How people get poop on the toilet seat will forever be an enigma to me. Do they stand to poop? Or do they have a vendetta and this is their passive aggressive way of telling me? (If you've pooped on a toilet seat, please send me an anonymous email telling me why and I'll be forever grateful. Namaste.)

How much time do you have to prepare for the party?

Think about how much you can get done in the days before the party. Consider what you'll need to do in the hours leading up to the party– final food preparations, cleaning your home and getting ready before guests arrive. I find things take longer than you think, so try and do as much as possible in the days before.

Where will the party take place?

Outside if you live in a warm climate? In the dining room and kitchen? How about the living room? If you live in a 500 sq ft apartment like me, this is all one space so problem solved! You probably don't want the party in the bedroom unless you live in a studio or you're having a swingers party, but a bedroom can make for a good coat room so you don't crowd your guests. (Again unless it's a swingers party, then you want to crowd your guests). Is it on a yacht because you're rich? (but you still plan your own parties and read blogs so you feel connected with the common people.)

Will you be putting up decorations?

What kind of decorations if so? Classy silver or gold and green? A miniature Christmas town with a train running through it? That toy reindeer that poops candies? A santa face toilet seat cover and rug set?

What will you use for serving?

Your regular dishes? The fancy china? Paper/plastic for less clean up? 

What day and time will it be?

When inviting people make it clear and concise with the date, location (apartment or buzzer number if applicable), time the party starts and time the food will be served. There's always that person who consistently shows two hours late so make sure it's clear when you're eating so you don't feel obligated to wait for them.

Eg.

Christmas party at my place on December 23rd!                                                                                                          Arrive at 6:00 pm for cocktails, dinner will be served at 7:30 pm.                                                                          Please RSVP by this Friday.                                                                                                                                          Address: 123 Pie Lane, apt #3.14. Buzzer #666. Secret password is “kosher dill".

If in question, state whether children are welcome. Or, if there will be complementary coke lines laid out on the table (the latter is likely an 80s themed Christmas party).

Pine Shortbread Cookies || Classic shortbread biscuits with pine are a perfect winter dessert or Christmas gift. Simple to make and can be frozen for a snack when guests drop by over the holidays. || creamandhoney.ca
Pine Shortbread Cookies || Classic shortbread biscuits with pine are a perfect winter dessert or Christmas gift. Simple to make and can be frozen for a snack when guests drop by over the holidays. || creamandhoney.ca
Pine Shortbread Cookies || Classic shortbread biscuits with pine are a perfect winter dessert or Christmas gift. Simple to make and can be frozen for a snack when guests drop by over the holidays. || creamandhoney.ca
High Park, Toronto || creamandhoney.ca
High Park, Toronto || creamandhoney.ca

Gifts

  • Make something! I love getting a homemade gift especially if it's food. A hand knitted scarf or  holiday wreath is also awesome. 
  • Cards. Make one! Or if you choose to buy a card, write something meaningful or more than “best wishes from stan". That feels like mediocre wishes to me, Stan. It only takes five minutes to write a few sentences and means more to people. 
  • Gift certificates. Great for Secret Santa gifts or if you don't know the person well. You could always make your own gift certificates for people you do know well like: babysit for an evening, take your car for a tune up, massage with (or without) happy ending, hide a dead body no questions asked (this is a good one because barely anybody redeems it. Do not give to someone in the mob or if they've ever mentioned their loan shark.)
  • Wrapping. You can put a gift in just about anything. Bags, boxes, wrapping paper, newspaper, butcher's paper, magazine pages, religious pamphlets, old underwear, etc. Decorate your gift with ribbons, bows, evergreen branches, sprigs of rosemary or thyme, bells, pinecones or holly.
  • For my gift this year, I would like this dad bod belly fanny pack so I can have more free hands at my next party. 
Pine Shortbread Cookies || Classic shortbread biscuits with pine are a perfect winter dessert or Christmas gift. Simple to make and can be frozen for a snack when guests drop by over the holidays. || creamandhoney.ca

Happy party planning!

Meg                                                                                                                                                                                            xx


PINE SHORTBREAD COOKIES

the magic

inspiration:               Fall foraging

the feels:                   soft, crumbly, melty, creamy

eat with:                   milk, tea, coffee, other holiday cookies

might like if you're into:       forest walks, The Lion The Witch and                                                The Wardrobe, foraging, indigenous                                                  foods, parties.

the science

makes approximately 25 to 30 cookies depending on size || time: 1 hour 15 mins (prep, rest + baking)

ingredients:

  • 3.5 cups all purpose unbleached flour, sifted
  • 1 cup cane sugar
  • 1 + 1/4  teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped pine needles
  • 3/4 pound unsalted butter (3 sticks or 1.5 cups), at room temperature

method: 

  1. In large bowl (of stand mixer if you have one), add butter and sugar. With paddle attachment (or hand beater) mix until just combined. Add pine and salt and mix again until combined.
  2. Add sifted flour and beat on low until just combined and starts to come together. Dust a flat surface lightly with flour. Add dough to surface. Shape dough into two flat disks. Wrap in plastic and place in fridge for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  4. Place one disk of dough onto lightly floured flat surface. Roll out dough evenly to 1/2 inch think. Cut out cookies with cookie cutter (mine were 3 inch circles). Reform extra dough together, roll out and cut more. Place onto baking sheet (I did 12 cookies per sheet). Place plastic wrap on top and return to fridge. Repeat with second dough disk. Place both baking sheets of cookies in the oven. Bake for 20 - 35 minutes (if baking one sheet at a time, 20 minutes may be enough. If baking both, you may need up to 35 minutes). Check at 20 and go from there. Bake to desired colour, some people love an all white shortbread, I like a hint of golden brown on the edges. Let fully cool. 

Keep in a sealed container on the counter, in the fridge or in the freezer (my favourite). Shortbread are SO good straight from the freezer, I highly recommend trying them frozen if you haven't. 

Adapted from Ina Garten's shortbread recipe.

 

 

Moon Milks: Maca Cacao + Lavender Tart Cherry

Moon Milks || Soothing adaptogenic tonics to help sleep, increase energy and balance your hormones. Maca cacao milk for energy + lavender tart cherry milk for sleep and relaxation. || creamandhoney.ca
Moon Milks || Soothing adaptogenic tonics to help sleep, increase energy and balance your hormones. Maca cacao milk for energy + lavender tart cherry milk for sleep and relaxation. || creamandhoney.ca
Moon Milks || Soothing adaptogenic tonics to help sleep, increase energy and balance your hormones. Maca cacao milk for energy + lavender tart cherry milk for sleep and relaxation. || creamandhoney.ca

Hello my pretties. I've concocted some stress balancing tonics to help you (and me) get through this dark season. They are made with adaptogens which increase your body's ability to adapt to stress on the body/mind and prevent damaging effects. The name moon milk serves as a reminder that rest and relaxation are vital and we can pair them with the moon phases, hormone cycles and feelings or intuitive processes that come up during these times. Fall and winter is a perfect time for reflection to learn more about ourselves. Let's begin.

When I was a young girl I imagined myself a sorceress, surrounded by jars of herbs, goos and tinctures. I made up spells, brewed potions from ketchup, grapes and cold tea (fyi: not tasty) and consumed endless fantasy books and movies. When I was five my mum bought me The Wizard Of Oz and I drove her crazy watching it over and over with the same vigour as the first time. I went through obsessive phases of watching the same movie every day for a month at a time. Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Beauty and The Beast, The Witches, Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal– anything supernatural was my choice of pleasure and poison.

When I was twelve my goth-ish aunt (who dressed only in black, swore often and had an unusual amount of skulls in her bedroom) took me and two other morbidly obsessed friends to a wicca shop in Toronto. We spent hours browsing spell books, inspecting crystals, and smelling one hundred  sticks of incense that gave us headaches. The lady working there swung a pendulum over our hands telling us which ones would birth a boy or girl. We bought a book of spells, a few charms including a (real?) rabbit's foot, and the least offensive incense we could find. We got home and laid them all out browsing our occult bounty with excitement. We put on our darkest shade of lipstick, re-watched The Craft for the bajillionth time and got to work. We took out the ouija board and conjured spirits which were mostly hand spasms from holding our fingers straight for an hour at a time. We played Light As A Feather Stiff As A Board, decided which element we felt a strong affinity for and sat in a circle in the backyard reciting the chant from The Craft, “HAIL TO THE GUARDIANS OF THE WATCHTOWER OF THE EAST!!! Hear me. Hear us!". Once in a while a light breeze would ruffle a feather around and we took that as confirmation that we were in fact real witches. We were unsure if that meant we sold our souls to the devil but in those times of hormonal highs and lows mixed with teenage angst, we were okay with that possibility.

When I was thirteen I invited friends over to watch The Exorcist because it was a classic scary movie and my goth-ish aunt said “it's very f*cked up and I almost shit my pants". “Perfect!" I thought.  Halfway through the movie everyone requested I turn it off because they felt disturbed watching a possessed girl of the same age mutilate her genitals with a cross. I said “nahhh, it's probably almost over" and then we all had near heart attacks as she spiderwalked down the stairs and spit up blood. They yelled at me asking why I wouldn't turn it off but I was too entranced by how terrifying it was. I loved testing how far I could push myself before clinical insanity. As I reflect back on my life, it's no a surprise I have sleep problems. 

Moon Milks || Soothing adaptogenic tonics to help sleep, increase energy and balance your hormones. Maca cacao milk for energy + lavender tart cherry milk for sleep and relaxation. || creamandhoney.ca
Moon Milks || Soothing adaptogenic tonics to help sleep, increase energy and balance your hormones. Maca cacao milk for energy + lavender tart cherry milk for sleep and relaxation. || creamandhoney.ca
Moon Milks || Soothing adaptogenic tonics to help sleep, increase energy and balance your hormones. Maca cacao milk for energy + lavender tart cherry milk for sleep and relaxation. || creamandhoney.ca
Moon Milks || Soothing adaptogenic tonics to help sleep, increase energy and balance your hormones. Maca cacao milk for energy + lavender tart cherry milk for sleep and relaxation. || creamandhoney.ca

With constant stimulation surrounding us, it's easy to feel how the outside world affects our inner world– how we feel, thoughts we think, how much or little anxiety is present. But what about cultivating our inner world to affect our outer reality? How often do we actively work on starting first from a peaceful grounded state of mind? We become more powerful and gain more control if we begin from a good feeling place. I work on this by giving myself alone time that is essential for me to feel balanced. I enjoy journaling, reading a book, going on a walk or just laying and let myself zone out. Meditation or yoga for even 5 minutes in the morning is a great place to begin my day. 

My incredibly talented friend Miranda creates this beautiful moon calendar every year which is perfect to hang on the wall and refer back to for journal entries and general guidance. She has also just released a moon journal with @thebodyastrologer that offers suggestions for what to focus on during each lunar cycle.

Check out Miranda on Instagram and find her calendar + journal here!

photo by Alexa Mazzarello  

photo by Alexa Mazzarello  

Moon Milks || Soothing adaptogenic tonics to help sleep, increase energy and balance your hormones. Maca cacao milk for energy + lavender tart cherry milk for sleep and relaxation. || creamandhoney.ca
Moon Milks || Soothing adaptogenic tonics to help sleep, increase energy and balance your hormones. Maca cacao milk for energy + lavender tart cherry milk for sleep and relaxation. || creamandhoney.ca
Moon Milks || Soothing adaptogenic tonics to help sleep, increase energy and balance your hormones. Maca cacao milk for energy + lavender tart cherry milk for sleep and relaxation. || creamandhoney.ca
Moon Milks || Soothing adaptogenic tonics to help sleep, increase energy and balance your hormones. Maca cacao milk for energy + lavender tart cherry milk for sleep and relaxation. || creamandhoney.ca
Moon Milks || Soothing adaptogenic tonics to help sleep, increase energy and balance your hormones. Maca cacao milk for energy + lavender tart cherry milk for sleep and relaxation. || creamandhoney.ca

Tapping into moon phases can be a great way to begin journaling if you don't know where to start. Each lunar cycle consists of 28 days as does a typical women's menstrual cycle. This is no accident we are linked with the waxing and waning of the moon. It is thought that before artificial light, women's menstrual cycles would align with the moon phases. If you're synced up, you'll menstruate around the new moon (the darkest time of the month) and ovulate with the full moon (the brightest time of the month). This information gives us insight into why we feel certain ways during our hormone cycle. When you know the feelings that may arise around these times, it can be an opportunity to 'go with the flow' of life rather than pushing against, which can leave you feeling stuck or frustrated. 

Moon Milks || Soothing adaptogenic tonics to help sleep, increase energy and balance your hormones. Maca cacao milk for energy + lavender tart cherry milk for sleep and relaxation. || creamandhoney.ca

Lavender Tart Cherry Milk                                                                                                                                    promotes relaxation, sleep, calming effects, lowers inflammation

  • Drink: before bed, during the new moon, waning moon, during pms and menstruation
  • Adaptogen: Ashwagandha– lowers blood sugar + cortisol, increases brain function, reduces anxiety and depression, anti-cancer properties, increases testosterone + boosts fertility in men, lowers inflammation. 
  • Healing Herbs: Tart Cherry Juice– sleep enhancer (natural source of melatonin), high in antioxidants. Lavender–  relieves indigestion, good for sleep, promotes relaxation.
  •  

Maca Cacao Milk                                                                                                                                                               increases energy + mental focus, hormone balancing, promotes sexual function

  • Drink: in the morning or afternoon, in substitute or alongside coffee, during the full moon, waxing moon, during ovulation and post menstruation. 
  • Adaptogen: Maca– boosts libido, increases endurance, balances hormones, increases fertility, increases physical + mental energy, sharpens memory + focus, mood balancing.
  • Healing Herb: Raw Cacao– high in antioxidants, iron, + magnesium (good for heart, brain focus, muscles, calming effect), natural mood elevator (seratonin, tryptophan + other neurotransmitters associated with feelings of happiness + well being).
  • Optional Adaptogens: Mucunas Pruriens (Velvet Bean)– antidepressant actions, antioxidant, good for digestion, increases libido, boosts energy + focus.                                                                         Chaga– immune boosting, antioxidant, reduces inflammation.

New Moonsetting intentions + seeking inspiration

Waxing Moonenergetic time, conception to fertility to creation, taking action to bring idea to fruition with the full moon

Full Mooncelebration + practicing gratitude

Waning Moonreleasing, decluttering, reflecting, restoring

Moon Milks || Soothing adaptogenic tonics to help sleep, increase energy and balance your hormones. Maca cacao milk for energy + lavender tart cherry milk for sleep and relaxation. || creamandhoney.ca
Moon Milks || Soothing adaptogenic tonics to help sleep, increase energy and balance your hormones. Maca cacao milk for energy + lavender tart cherry milk for sleep and relaxation. || creamandhoney.ca

As above, so below friends.

xx


MOON MILKS

the magic

inspiration:                   moon phases + hormone cycles

the feels:                       creamy, soothing, warm, relaxing

eat with:                        tahini snack bites, shortbreads,                                                         gingerbread or chai cookies 

might like if you're into:     tarot cards, astrology, lunar cycles,                                                  ouija boards, witches, yoga, journaling,                                              forest walks, meditation, incense,                                                      herbalism, energy clearing,                                                              himalayan salt lamps, essential oils,                                                tracking your cycle

the science

makes one moon milk each || time: 5 t0 10 minutes                                                                                  

ingredients:                                                                                      

cacao maca milk    

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 teaspoons cacao powder
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon maca powder
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup (or honey/agave)
  • pinch of pink salt 
  • optional: 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • optional: 1 tablespoon almond butter   
  • optional: 1 teaspoon chaga, reishi or mucuna pruriens powder   
  • optional: shot of espresso or heaping teaspoon herbal coffee
  • optional: scoop of protein powder                                 

lavender tart cherry milk

  • 1/2 cup tart cherry juice
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk (from can)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried lavender buds
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey (or maple/agave)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ashwaghanda powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of pink salt
  • optional: dried rose petals + dried lavender buds for garnish and aroma

method:                                                                                           

cacao maca milk

  1. Hot: In a small pot/pan, add milk, cacao, maca, maple syrup and pink salt. Whisk until combined. Heat over medium until just hot but not boiling. Drink as is or pour into blender, add other optional ingredients and blend for extra creaminess. 
  2. Cold: Add all ingredients to a blender and blend for 30  to 60 seconds on until fully combined and creamy. 

lavender tart cherry milk

  1. In a small pot/pan, add almond milk, coconut milk, tart cherry juice, honey, vanilla, ashwagandha, and salt. Whisk until combined. Heat over medium until simmering. Remove from heat and add lavender buds. Cover with lid and let steep for 5 minutes. Pour into mug over a strainer to remove the lavender buds. Blend in blender if you prefer the drink more foamy. Crush edible dried rose petals and/or dried lavender together and sprinkle lightly on top for a soothing aroma.